From a humble community centre to an award-winning eco-friendly hub, ACO Water Management helped to improve the sustainability credentials of Gamlingay’s local facility with a bespoke SuDS solution.
The community centre in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire decided to create the ‘Eco Hub’ – a unique eco-friendly facility providing a variety of meeting spaces for community activities and local classes, alongside a self-contained corporate suite.
Situated conveniently on the Cambridgeshire-Bedfordshire border, the Eco Hub would be open daily to members of the community, free of charge. Therefore a car park of a suitable size was essential to guarantee easy access to the facilities on offer.
Sustainability was a crucial factor to consider throughout the whole project. The premise of the Eco Hub was to create a facility that was not only beneficial to the environment but also to the local community. From the initial build right the way through to the final product, the Eco Hub was economically constructed and designed to operate in a highly efficient manner.
With an extensive portfolio of sustainable water management systems, ACO was perfect for the Eco Hub project. ACO specified 648 sqm of its ground reinforcement system GroundGuard, creating six parking areas for over 40 cars. Much of the building materials were recycled from the original building and those that were new were taken from renewable sources and this was the case for GroundGuard which offers the complete SuDS solution.
GroundGuard is a permeable, gravel-filled stabilisation system and is, crucially, made from recycled plastic mesh. The system is over 90 percent porous, resulting in a free draining car-park with a highly efficient rate of surface water run-off. The Eco Hub also filled the system with locally sourced gravel, making the finished installation even more environmentally friendly.
Another added benefit of GroundGuard is that it eliminates the expense of having to install a supplementary drainage system, helping to further reduce costs for the highly sustainable hub.
Following completion of the build, Eco Hub was fitted with a variety of renewable technologies including solar panels, ground source heating and a rainwater harvesting system. In fact, this unique eco-friendly facility is acknowledged as being one of the most energy efficient community building in the country.