Voreda House update: Exterior plans revealed for zero-carbon HQ

Exterior plans have been unveiled for the new-look Voreda House: the building set to become the new headquarters for Eden District Council in Penrith.

The plans will see it become a building of national significance, as the UK’s first net-zero-carbon retrofit office. The design plans also represent a major upgrade for the building, combining innovative energy saving features with a stylish new look.

2030 Architects - working alongside Greengauge Building Energy Consultants and Eden District Council - has been working to design the building with the comfort of its users as a priority, whilst using very little energy for heating and cooling.

Planned additions like solar panels will also enable the Council to generate its own renewable energy.

Leader of Eden District Council, Councillor Virginia Taylor, said, “The Council is transforming Voreda House into a state of the art, zero carbon, public service hub, designed to secure the delivery of quality services to customers whatever the configuration of local government may be in the future.

“Voreda House realises the Council’s long-standing ambition for an efficient and fully accessible single site which will provide convenient access to services, both for residents and businesses from Penrith and from the 70+ parishes of the wider Eden area.”

The Council envisions that Voreda House will provide an opportunity to co-locate with partners and create a new model of integrated public services for the area. Many related public services in Eden are geographically and functionally dispersed across Penrith and the wider area. Coming together under one roof would significantly improve the experience for customers - enabling them to deal with their needs at a single location, during a single visit. The Council is being supported by the national One Public Estate Programme to turn its vision into reality and discussions are underway with a number of potential partners.

As well as providing greater value for money compared to the Council’s current offices, the Voreda House project aims to better support flexible and modern ways of working and help the Council to get closer to its ambitious zero-carbon goals.

In light of a potential local government reorganisation, the move to Voreda House, a fit-for-purpose building, stands to better protect the locally-focussed provision of services to residents of Eden and preserve local jobs.

Rod Hughes, Director of 2030 Architects Ltd, said, "Eden District Council is to be commended for showing what can be done with commitment and purpose.

"This project is a milestone… in potentially becoming the first UK Passivhaus Commercial retrofit, and showing that Net Zero Carbon retrofit is viable.

"We want to design buildings which make a positive contribution to reducing climate change, which are also great places to live and work."

The plans also look to create a new 'Civic Quarter' for Penrith, linking Voreda House to the adjacent open spaces of Coronation Gardens and the Town Hall.

A 'living green wall' is proposed to provide a dramatic backdrop to Coronation gardens, with the remaining facades to be clad in a multi-coloured array of rainscreen cladding, emulating the tones of the surrounding sandstone buildings and creating a new civic landmark for the town.

Materials

Cladding: Rockclad coloured panels, colours as indicated.

Windows: High performance powder coated orange aluminium with triple glazed units.

Doors:
Glazed doors to match windows.
Non glazed doors to be powder coated (to match coloured cladding panels) steel flush doors.

Metalwork comprising louvred panels, solar shading frames, infill panels, guarding, exposed ductwork, living wall support frame all in galvanized steel.

Voreda House North East Elevation (Meeting House Lane)
North East Elevation (Meeting House Lane)

Voreda House North West Elevation (Portland Place)
North West Elevation (Portland Place)

Voreda House South East Elevation
South East Elevation

Voreda House South West Elevation (Coronation Garden)
South West Elevation (Coronation Garden)