Barr’s Yard Artisan Collective, Hungerford, West Berkshire

This project was particularly challenging from the point of view of BREEAM.  The aim of the development was to provide low cost accommodation for local artisanal start up businesses.  The space to be provided was to be good quality construction with basic finishes and services.  The project clearly qualified as a Simple Building but even this did not really suit the particular nature of this development because there is no shell, or shell and core option under Simple Buildings.  The local authority has a planning policy in place that demands BREEAM Excellent for all new non-domestic buildings which was to prove overly onerous for this project. 

Blewburton engaged with the planning department and demonstrated that the measures that would have to be taken to achieve Excellent would not only prove so costly that it would compromise the key objective of providing low cost business units, but they would not add anything to the building in terms of sustainability.  They would be measures taken solely for scoring points under BREEAM.  The planning committee took on board the argument and agreed to reduce the required rating to Good. 

The completed development is a stylish, low cost home for artisan businesses, they are extremely well insulated, used sustainable materials, much of it from local sources and have added considerable ecological value to the site which was previously a railway siding.  A BREEAM Good certificate was achieved at both design and Post Construction stages.

BREEAM New Construction 2014 Retail – simple buildings