Working alongside 2030 Architects, Baker Mallet and Greengauge, Collinson Construction will transform Voreda House, a former NHS building in Penrith, into an office building that achieves net zero operation by using Passivhaus design principles.
The project will create a modern and accessible single site for the council whose operations are currently split over two outdated buildings.
It will also provide a viable location for the new Westmorland and Furness unitary authority, one of two Cumbria local authorities being created in April 2023 under local government reorganisation.
The refurbishment will see Voreda House’s existing windows and cladding removed and replaced, as well as significant roof works and the installation of new mechanical and electrical systems. The project is scheduled to be completed and handed over to the council by the end of 2022.
Robert Duxbury, managing director of Collinson Construction, said: “As well as helping the local authority to deliver services more efficiently from a single site, this project will give an outdated building a new lease of life and a bright, low-carbon future.
“We’re proud to be part of the team, all working together to make this important project a success for the council and its stakeholders.”
Councillor Virginia Taylor, leader of Eden District Council, said: “I’m delighted that the long-held aim of Eden District Council for a single site is now a reality. All the more so because, firstly Penrith can offer state of the art facilities to house increased local government jobs and services – just in time for the new unitary authority, and secondly because the building will lead the way in reducing carbon emissions.”
Representatives of Eden District Council marked the beginning of the refurbishment works with a traditional earth cutting ceremony. Council Leader, councillor Virginia Taylor, council chairman, councillor Andrew Connell and resources portfolio holder, councillor Karen Greenwood joined Richard Callaghan, project manager at Collinson Construction, and other members of the project team at the ceremony.
Rod Hughes, director at Penrith-based 2030 Architects, said: “We are very pleased to have contributed to the collaborative team effort which has taken this challenging, but unique net zero carbon project from an initial concept through to a start on site. We hope many more commercial buildings can aspire to achieving net zero carbon operation and use Passivhaus as the design process to inform any refurbishment.”
Stephen Jackson, of Baker Mallett LLP, said: “Baker Mallett LLP is delighted to provide quantity surveying and project management services for the Voreda House project to ensure the efficient and cost-effective delivery of this unique net zero carbon initiative for Eden District Council.”