The building was conceived under the One Public Estate Programme and designed by Concertus to be an exemplar building in terms of efficiency and renewable energy generation. Energy efficiency is central to the building’s design while a large roof-mounted solar panel generates electricity which can be stored in the centre’s innovative battery storage system. The battery storage system is the first to be implemented at a West Suffolk Council site and was created using repurposed electric car batteries. The building also features a ground source heat pump, a combined heat and power system, a sustainable drainage system, and green corridors.
By replacing multiple, less efficient spaces with a new hyper-efficient building, Mildenhall Hub cuts down local carbon emissions. It also reduces the number of journeys that residents have to make to access different services, reducing air pollution and cars on the road. While it has a large catchment, the hub is well connected to the surrounding area for cyclists and pedestrians and is on a bus route. For those who still have to drive, multiple electric vehicle charging points are available on site.
Although the centre has only been open for a few months, it is already well used and is a great example of a collaborative, innovative, and climate-conscious public sector project.
Choose the right partners – With such a big and complex project, it was vital to choose the right contractors and suppliers. We’d recommend looking for experienced partners who have worked on projects of a similar scale and complexity in the past.
Be flexible and implement strong risk management – With a project that takes a long time to come to fruition, you have to be adaptable and build in contingencies for unexpected obstacles and new opportunities.