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Dorchester council offices win pair of awards
12:42pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
WEST DORSET District Council’s controversial new offices have won a pair of awards.
The £9.7million headquarters in South Walks Road have been recognised for their green credentials and secure design.
The offices, which opened to the public last month, have received an excellent BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating for their eco-friendly attributes.
South Walks House has also claimed a Secured by Design award as part of a UK Police initiative to support buildings that reduce opportunities for crime through design techniques.
John Green, Dorset Police crime prevention and design advisor, said: “We always welcome the opportunity to work with architects, developers and builders to ensure a higher level of security for properties and communities, and we are pleased that West Dorset District Council has taken a lead in setting this standard for its own premises.”
The building’s environmentally friendly features include a high level of insulation throughout and photovoltaic cells on the roof to generate solar electricity.
As well as helping to power the building, some of the energy produced by the 172 photovoltaic cells is sold back to the grid to provide an income for the council and local people.
Visitors to the offices can see a display in the information centre charting how much electricity is being produced and the carbon dioxide saving from using the solar energy.
West Dorset District Council leader Robert Gould said: “The new smaller, greener offices will save more than £200,000 a year even after the cost of construction is taken into account.
“This is due in no small part to the energy saving features incorporated into the building design.
“I am delighted that we have achieved both the BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating and Secured by Design status.”
Building work on the new offices began back in June 2011 following strong opposition from local resident and West Dorset District Council still hopes that the rest of the Charles Street site will be redeveloped.
As well as being the headquarter for the district council, the completed office building will also include a public library and adult learning centre for Dorset County Council, which are due to open later in the year.
For more information about the offices visit www.dorsetforyou.com/newoffices.