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Aedas' £33 million overhaul of Keynsham town centre approved

Aedas has won planning permission for the £33million regeneration of Keynsham town centre in Somerset

The proposal includes 1,900m² of shops and restaurants, a new civic building with One Stop Shop, library, performance space for community use, council office space. The scheme will be surrounded by ‘new streets and spaces for markets and events’.

Enabling works have already commenced and demolition of the existing town hall buildings and library is expected to begin next month (December).

Keynesham town hall - which is to be demolished

Keynesham town hall - which is to be demolished

The architect’s view

The civic Ccntre and retail podium will be built in local Blue Lias stone and the offices above will be clad in standing seam brass cladding to reflect the towns past as a historic centre of the Brass industry. An important Roman mosaic will also be exhibited below a glass floor within the Civic Centre.

The separation of the Library and One-Stop-Shop as a separate building creates a new civic landmark within the town, encourages links with the existing High Street and creates a new public space which can be used for a variety of events such as markets and exhibitions.

The regeneration is part of the Council’s plans to reduce their carbon footprint by up to 70 per cent and through close collaboration with Aedas R&D and Building Services Engineers Max Fordham both the offices and civic centre have the target of achieving a Display Energy Certificate A rating by the end of the 2nd year of operation.  DEC A rating is a very high target and has only been achieved by 13 out of 3,230 offices certified (as of February 2010).

The orientation of the offices with narrow floor plates and south facing roofs achieves a fully naturally ventilated building and a cross laminated timber frame makes a significant reduction to embodied carbon.  The building will feature an innovative timber-concrete composite floor.  Cooling pipework cast into the concrete future proofs the building to accommodate changes of use or future climate patterns.

A crucial part of the brief has been to design a low energy design with an aspiration of zero carbon. When complete, the regeneration scheme will be the practice’s first project to target an ‘A- rated Display Energy Certificate’ from the outset.

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