New Build Children’s Centre

Client: Nottingham City Council
Completed: 2007

Budget: £600,000

The new children’s centre was funded by the Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM) and Nottingham City Council, as part of the Surestart programme. This programme aims to provide early learning and day care facilities for pre-school children. The project was awarded a high commendation for community benefit in the 2007 RICS awards (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).

The centre is an extension to an existing school foundation unit, which provides spaces for 0-3 year olds. Local residents were asked which facilities they would like to see in the new building. They responded with requests for extra day care, training facilities and a health room. The extension sits behind the main school and provides a new street frontage to the entrance road.

The design is based around an oversailing roof and is constructed on a grid of columns, allowing the roof to be completed early on. Works to the timber frame walls could therefore be progressed in dry conditions. Large windows and rooflights provide a plentiful supply of natural daylight, thereby encouraging low usage of electric lighting. The timber frame walls are highly insulated, outperforming the Building Regulations when the centre was constructed. A combination of these factors and the installation of a heat recovery system reduce the energy demands of the building.