09 Nov Constructing Sustainability: Royal Porcelain Works
The former Worcester Royal Porcelain Works has been sensitively regenerated to create a flexible mixed-use arts venue, alongside attractive residential and leisure offerings. The site, close to the cathedral and city centre, has significant historical context and the client was keen to maintain and preserve as much of this history as possible within the development. The derelict site has been transformed into a sustainable community-centric facility, maintaining its heritage and providing a significant social and economic impact on the City of Worcester
Over the years the unused site was subject to vandalism and anti-social behaviour. It had become infested with vermin and birds and had become a potential health hazard to locals. The buildings had existing asbestos-containing material and contamination which needed to be removed and remediated.
During the 18 month regeneration, it was deemed essential to reuse as many existing materials as possible. The brickwork and roof tiles had been methodically taken down, cleaned and then reused despite being less cost-effective than procuring new materials.
The timber flooring in the third sector was salvaged from the Kings School adjacent. This significantly reduced the requirement for circa 500m2 of new timber flooring. Timber glulam beams were used in place of steel or concrete within the bar and foyer extension area, reducing the carbon footprint of the scheme.
The carbon footprint was further improved and by employing local construction consultants and designers to reduce extended travel. The contractor appointed was based within 15 miles of the site and went on to employ a local supply chain of suppliers and subcontractors. This approach also had a positive impact on the social and economic sustainability of the area.
Biodiversity was enhanced by the careful development of external areas. These areas, that previously had no flora or fauna, have been landscaped and designed to provide a beautiful enclosed green space. To encourage new visitors a diary of events has been established which includes outdoor plays, courtyard food markets and concerts.