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Aukett Swanke gets go-ahead for £15m council HQ

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[FIRST LOOK + PROJECT DATA] Aukett Swanke has won planning for a new headquarters for Dacorum Borough Council in Hemel Hempstead

The acquisition-hungry practice’s 6,500m² scheme marks the first phase of a major regeneration of Hemel Hempstead’s town centre.

The new three-storey building, named the Forum, will house the council’s administrative activities, a new library, council chambers, and meeting rooms.

It will feature a full height atrium which will create a ‘light and airy space for the main focus of public activity’.

Elias Niazi, design principal at Aukett Swanke said: ‘This building is a tangible manifestation of the council’s regeneration aspirations for Hemel Hempstead. It underscores the fundamental role that exemplar design has in creating a focal point at the heart of the town centre. The Forum building will be a landmark structure, with a clearly expressed civic character imbued with a sense of pride in the community.’

Mark Gaynor at Dacorum Borough Council added: ‘We’re looking to achieve a number of outcomes through our regeneration plans. The creation of a truly community-based facility bringing public and voluntary sector services together alongside a tangible demonstration of private sector investment in new homes and commercial facilities. The Forum will develop alongside a radical modernisation of the shopping and leisure offer together with bringing back the Water Gardens to their former glory.’

The proposed masterplan for the area also includes a 200-unit residential development, a retirement home, retail spaces, a cinema, and restaurants.

The scheme is set to complete in November 2016.

Project data

Location Hemel Hempstead
Type of project office
Client Dacorum Borough Council
Architect Aukett Swanke
Landscape architect Turkington Martin
Planning consultant Bidwells
Structural engineer RC Carter Design
M&E consultant Aecom
Quantity surveyor Marstan BDB
Lighting consultant Aecom
Main contractor RG Carter
Funding Dacorum Borough Council + Partners
Tender date March 2015
Start on site date May 2015
Completion date November 2016
Contract duration 18 months
Gross internal floor area 6,800m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Design and Build
Total cost £15million
Annual predicted CO2 emissions 18.1Kg/CO2/m²
Predicted air tightness levels 3m³/hour/m² @ 50 pascals
Specific environmental target BREEAM Excellent

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