BREEAM Excellent Rated Conwy Culture Centre Contributes to a Green Future with a New Alumasc Roof

Posted by Ashlea Williamson

Sensitively designed to keep a low profile in its exceptional surroundings, the new Conwy Culture Centre has recently opened its doors to the public.

A Blackdown extensive sedum green roof completes the low-lying, single storey centre, helping it to become part of, and give back to the natural environment.

Completed in 2019 on the site of an ex-primary school building, it is now a modern masterpiece designed to inform and entertain visitors in a beautiful, relaxing setting.

Alumasc provided a complete roofing solution which included the waterproofing and green roof system. Blackdown’s extensive sedum green roof provides a variety of planting, generally comprising drought tolerant succulents such as sedum, rockery and alpine plants. An example of an extensive green roof, it was an ideal choice for the project as it enabled its roofing element to both blend in with surroundings and positively contribute to the natural environment.

“It was important for the Culture Centre to create a serene environment that would break the barrier between nature and building,” explained Matthew Davies, Area Technical Manager at Alumasc Roofing Systems, who specified materials for the project. “Meeting the BREEAM Excellent certification standard was paramount, and the installation of a green roof was a vital step on this path.”

“The team at Blackdown Greenroofs, an Alumasc company, were extremely diligent in ensuring every effort was made to meet and even exceed the brief. The final result has the added benefit of providing a high level of insulation; another way that a green roof can help a building become more sustainable. People using the centre will find that it is cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter and overall, less energy may be used internally.”

Beneath the greenery, Derbigum high-performance membranes were also specified to ensure a completely watertight installation. The bituminous membranes can be used with a variety of insulation choices including PIR, mineral wool, and extruded polystyrene to suit specification and U-value parameters.

“We worked with 200mm of pre-bonded PIR, which provided the flexibility and easy application we needed for the project,” Matthew said. “Derbigum offers enhanced performance properties including excellent flexibility, fire ratings, strong reinforcement and ease of application, so it’s an extremely popular choice. Critically though, they have a 40-year BBA durability approval with use at zero-falls.”

Throughout the design and construction stages Alumasc Roofing Systems worked closely with DarntonB3 Architecture, the Project Architect. “We were extremely pleased with the workmanship and overall installation of the waterproofing and green roof systems” commented the Project Architect.

Along the duration of the project, the Alumasc team paid the Centre a visit, to assist with the project’s design. “We were able to provide a cost-effective solution, whilst delivering excellent insulation standards by Alumasc,” Matthew says. Although the overall project ran smoothly throughout its building phase, Conwy Culture Centre project did come with some challenges. “The weather was our biggest obstacle,” Matthew revealed, “which slightly delayed the installation of the new roofing system.”

Located in the corner of Bodlondeb Park, North Wales, Conwy Culture Centre is of walking distance from Conwy’s sumptuous medieval town. This light and airy building houses a brand-new county archive, library area, heritage exhibitions, café and community arts hub and the exhibitions on display take visitors through five thousand years of history. The Culture Centre is also dementia friendly. This comes as a result of the landscaped areas around the centre which include a peaceful sensory garden with dementia-friendly and accessible paths and seating and a carefully considered interior.

This Bodlondeb Park land was a gift from Albert Wood, whose family had made their fortune from manufacturing ships’ anchors and cables. The £2.5 million Culture Centre has stunning views towards Conwy Castle and has been constructed to the BREEAM Excellent standard, meeting the standard for best practice in sustainable building design.

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Flat Roof Membranes,
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