iConic green building wins industry award
One of the country’s most important new buildings has continued to attract praise and recognition from industry experts.
The iCon Innovation Centre, which opened in Daventry last year, has won a British Council for Offices Award. It was successful in the ‘Best Commercial Workplace’ category at the Midlands ceremony and will now go forward to the national final in October.
Designed by Consarc Architects, the state-of-the-art building provides office accommodation and support for firms working in green technologies. It includes 54 business incubation units for start-up companies, public exhibition spaces, conferencing facilities for 300 people and a café.
Its highly progressive, low carbon design includes a natural ventilation system and ‘phase change’ panels in the ceiling that can absorb or emit heat, depending on the temperature. In addition, the central atrium acts as a heat store during winter and provides ventilation in the summer. Its roof is made of an inflatable ‘ETFE’ membrane, a high performance material which has been used on renowned developments including the Eden project.
The 4000 sq m, £8.5m scheme was led by the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, and constructed by Winvic Build. It is now owned and operated by the University of Northampton.
Chris Garden, WNDC’s Director of Regeneration said: “Since being completed, the iCon has become a popular and critically acclaimed local landmark. Most importantly, it has started to attract new and innovative businesses to the area, which see the iCon as a fitting home for their operations. We’re sure it will be a success for years to come”
Liz Pickard, Consarc Architects’ Managing Director said: “I am delighted the British Council for Offices has recognised that this modest building has set the pace for speculative office construction. The project set out to inform and educate the industry through its low carbon approach, new methods of superstructure and built in building monitoring equipment and post occupancy evaluation. To that goal, it has more than exceeded itself.”
The iCon was funded by a partnership including the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC). Daventry District Council and Northamptonshire County Council donated the land for the project.