KINGSMERE Community Centre, Bicester, has officially opened its doors, redefining traditional designs, and bringing the ‘community centre’ into the 21st century.
The state-of-the-art facility – which was project managed Buro Four, designed by Robothams and was provided with mechanical and electrical engineering (M&E) services by Building Services Design (BSD) – features office spaces, a kitchen, youth centre, activity hall and meeting rooms.
“We developed an M&E design that would allow for the building to be used for multiple purposes,” said Joel Sawyer, director at BSD – which has eight offices across the UK.
“This is a building designed to perform different roles for different members of the community so we needed to be flexible with our strategy, while ensuring that we created a functional, contemporary space that was sustainable and long-lasting.”
Brise soleil was installed onto the main hall to reduce heat gain by deflecting sunlight, providing a comfortable temperature and significantly reducing heating costs.
Joel added: “The main hall also features a roof mounted natural ventilation strategy. As the hall lacks openable windows, this ventilation system has helped keep the hall cool and eradicated the need to install air conditioning units – which are incredibly costly. The ventilation turrets also have an internal solar powered fan, providing additional ventilation during sunnier conditions, boosting air flow and boasting a zero noise level.
“We provided a robust design scheme for the youth centre so that it could withstand considerable use over a longer period of time. The radiators have been covered and we used a more malleable material – mild steel pipework – rather than copper to allow them to withstand any potential impact. The lighting is also impact resistant, as are the fire alarm call points.
“PV panels were also fitted to the roof to allow for electricity independence.
“This is a fantastic hub for the community and a building I know will be well-used for years to come.”
Matthew Keegans, senior project manager at Buro Four – which project managed the scheme – said: “It was a pleasure to be the project manager for this integral scheme within the Kingsmere masterplan for Countryside Properties.
“Community and place making are essential and we are very passionate about getting right within all of our projects. Working with the BSD team, we were able to incorporate innovative solutions to provide a future proofed and sustainable community hub on time and budget.”
The building has since been described as: ‘the beating heart of a Bicester housing estate’.
BSD was appointed by Countryside Properties – owners of the development site – and the scheme was completed by Deeley.