The Eco Building 

Torfaen County Borough Council

Sustainability Award Winner 2008

Client Economic Development, Regeneration Services, Torfaen County Borough Council
Contract Value £305,217.06
Date of Practical Completion 20 July 2006
Architectural Designers White Design Associates, Bristol
Structural Designers Integral Structural Designer
Building Services Designer Ernest Griffiths & Sons
Project Managers Phil Richards/Rachel O’Shaughnessy, Torfaen County Borough Council
Quantity Surveyors Richard Stacey/Tara Wheeler, Operational Services, Torfaen County Borough Council
Planning Supervisor Robin Field, Operational Services, Torfaen County Borough Council
Contractor Kier Western Ltd

The Brief

The brief for this project called for a sustainable building that would serve to promote innovation and sustainable building methods.

The building was designed by White Design of Bristol and utilises an innovative straw bale and timber cassette walling and roof system to provide a highly insulated structure.

The brief also called for the building to have the least impact on the environment in its construction methodology. It was designed to be built on an existing concrete slab left after the previous industrial unit on the site was demolished. 85% of the materials from the demolition of the unit were recycled.

In addition to the high energy efficiency of the building, other sustainable approaches were adopted as a matter of policy, such as the use of recycled denim as eaves insulation, the use of local materials, the local manufacture of the timber cassettes (in an adjacent factory unit), the use of Welsh cedar for the external cladding and the use of recycled items such as the kitchen sink.

Other sustainable technologies incorporated into the building include: rainwater harvesting to supply “grey” water to flush the toilets, a small photovoltaic panel and wind turbine to generate electricity. In addition, lighting and heating controls are optimised to provide the maximum efficiency with the minimum use of energy.

Ed Evans of Torfaen County Borough Council with Peter Rees, CLAW Chairman, following the presentation of the Sustainability Award 2008