The new three-storey office block will have a conference room, a public café and parking for more than 200 vehicles and is intended to be a landmark building in Lowestoft.
The project allows both councils to demonstrate efficiency and sustainability in providing rationalised offices, improved and consolidated public services, case conferencing and the rationalisation of training, conference, meeting and council chamber facilities.
The building is conceived to be low energy and efficient with low carbon emissions and low running costs. It will demonstrate good quality 21st century office space, representing good value and targeting an ‘A’ rated EPC.
The low energy building design and low carbon aspirations have been further advanced by integrating an active thermal mass system. The lightweight steel frame has been combined with concrete floors to help increase the thermal mass of the building. Heavyweight buildings heat and cool slowly, which reduces the need for mechanical heating and cooling systems. Active thermal mass also provides high levels of comfort to the people within the building by achieving stable temperatures, avoiding drafts and supplying constant fresh air.
The design incorporates various methods to make the building sustainable, such as; rainwater harvesting to collect and make use of rain water, photovoltaic panels to convert solar energy into electricity and ground source & air source heat pumps to extract usable heat from the ground and the air.
The two councils say moving to the new building will help them save up to £3m of tax-payers’ money over 10 years by allowing them to dispose of the 11 buildings which are deemed unfit for purpose or inefficient.