World of Water
The creation of a sustainably led scheme based on contextual
sensitivity and high-quality design which aims to have a positive
impact on the Natural Capital of the area, local community
and visitors to the Test Valley.
ep projects are the lead consultants and design team that have secured full, detailed planning permission for a visitor centre, walkway, bird hide, café / restaurant, exhibition, community and flexible use space, retail and office facilities at the World of Water site near Romsey, Hampshire for Azure Development.
To create a gateway to Test Valley and Romsey, a high-quality wellbeing focussed environment which not only respects, but also enhances the special characteristics of the wider site and delivers biodiversity net gain. Delivering a Net Zero Carbon project with access for all and an inspiring place for visitors and tenants.
The site, a disused aquatic centre, is situated on the outskirts of Romsey, Hampshire and adjoins a nature reserve of special scientific interest, the 170-acre Test Valley, Fishlake Meadows Nature Reserve. The challenge was to create an accessible visitor centre, alongside mixed- use space, that would boost the local economy and provide jobs, preserving and enhancing the natural environment and wildlife of the area, whilst minimising carbon footprint and congestion.
What are the benefits?
The development will be built to the highest “Building with Nature” accreditation standards, which recognises the design and delivery of high-quality green infrastructure. State-of-the-art facilities and landscaping of the 4.2-acre site, will provide visitor, work, educational and hospitality spaces, as well as enhanced access to the adjacent nature reserve. The 21,463 sq. ft buildings will follow Net Zero Carbon status standards and feature extensive use of locally sourced materials. The design employs biophilic and passive methods of reducing energy consumption with the use of natural lighting and ventilation, super-insulated shells together with other initiatives such as wildflower green roofs and living walls, in conjunction with renewable technologies including water source heat pumps with under-floor heating and solar panels.
Expected to bring around 150 jobs to the area, the site will accommodate 450 visitors. It aims to be a leading example of how redevelopment can deliver lasting positive impact, in harmony with the environment and delivering real value for local people and businesses.
Gary has 35 years’ experience leading Architecture and multi-disciplined Green Infrastructure Design teams from his base in Hampshire. His focus is to minimise impact and energy use in the construction and whole life operation of all projects whether new build or refurbishment. Gary is Chair of the AECB and sits on the Board of Future South and the Steering Group of Green Halo. He regularly speaks at and chairs events and brings his commercial contacts and experience.
With two years architecture practice experience, Rupert has a master’s degree in Sustainable Building Design with Distinction in Southampton during which he developed a holistic approach to reducing the carbon footprint of buildings by focussing on the social, economic, and environmental aspects of architecture and design. Whilst at University, he also studied and practised globally renowned environmental assessment methods such as BREEAM, LEED and Passivhaus, becoming accredited in BREEAM and winning awards for Best MSc Intelligent Design Project and Best MSc BREEAM Project.
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