Projects: Garway Community Centre

Garway Community Centre

Keywords: Architectural designcommunitylatest projectspassivhaus

The rural Herefordshire village of Garway finally has its new Passivhaus certified community centre. It has taken many years’ development, but a successful bid to Big Lottery Fund in 2016 made the project a reality.
The building was completed with a grand opening in April 2018.  The centre provides many functions for the village, including a large multi-functional hall with full stage / green room etc; an outreach medical centre; a cafe/bar, part-time post-office and will be home to ‘Garway Live’, a popular monthly local music event. During the fund-raising, the adjacent primary school have realised the opportunity, and will use the centre for their school dinners – the positive social effect of all generations in the community coming together here will be possible. The contractors were William Powell & Sons of Hereford.

Simmonds.Mills brought together again their familiar team – Alan Clarke, M & E; Bob Johnson Structural Engineer; plus local q.s. Adams Fletcher. Completion of the build aims to be early in the New Year. As part of the certification process, the final air test achieved a great result – n50, 0.22 ach. The whole team are delighted; in particular, William Powell & son, since this is their first PH project. To achieve acceptance at tender stage, they
attended a training course at the PassivHaus Academy.

Simmonds.Mills worked closely on the design with a strong community group; and the design of the new community centre reflects characteristics of the former, much loved 80 year-old ‘crinkly tin’ village hall. The new hall echoes the steep pitch of the old, and inside the building, has a striking glulam arch frame. Exposed timber alludes to a traditional, natural feel, yet remains in keeping with a contemporary aesthetic. Moreover, through the
use of timber gap boards, plus wood wool slab ceilings, the building emulates the acoustic bounce and absorbency of the old village hall.

Knauf Insulation are significant material sponsors, with further trials of their ‘Knauf Supafill blown mineral fibre’, installed by accredited installers Miller Pattison. Externally render and timber cladding are used; with a galvanised steel roof; the aesthetic pays reference to the rural context of the old hall, and agricultural buildings, whilst it has a contemporary edge suited to a 21st century PH building.

Read about events at the centre and more here

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