Construction starts on net zero building for Cumbrian council

Voreda House ground breaking ceremomy

Work has started to create a net zero carbon headquarters for Eden District Council in Cumbria.

Voreda House, a former NHS building in Penrith, will be transformed into an office building for the council whose operations are currently split over two outdated buildings.

Collinson Construction has been appointed to the project working alongside 2030 Architects, Baker Mallet and Greengauge.

The refurbished site will also provide a viable location for the new Westmorland and Furness unitary authority, one of two Cumbria local authorities being created in April 2023 under local government reorganisation.

The works, expected to complete by the end of the year, will see Voreda House’s existing windows and cladding removed and replaced, as well as significant roof works and the installation of new mechanical and electrical systems.

Robert Duxbury, managing director of Collinson Construction, said: “As well as helping the local authority to deliver services more efficiently from a single site, this project will give an outdated building a new lease of life and a bright, low-carbon future.

“We’re proud to be part of the team, all working together to make this important project a success for the council and its stakeholders.”

Councillor Virginia Taylor, leader of Eden District Council, said: “I’m delighted that the long-held aim of Eden District Council for a single site is now a reality.

“All the more so because, firstly Penrith can offer state of the art facilities to house increased local government jobs and services – just in time for the new unitary authority, and secondly because the building will lead the way in reducing carbon emissions.”

Rod Hughes, director at Penrith-based 2030 Architects, added: “We are very pleased to have contributed to the collaborative team effort which has taken this challenging, but unique net zero carbon project from an initial concept through to a start on site.”

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