Energy Coast UTC · Cumbria

Award-winning and exceptional education facility in a coastal location
CLIENT
EFA / Energy Coast UTC Trust
SIZE
3,150sqm
COMPLETED
August 2014
VALUE
£6.8m
ARCHITECT
ADP Architecture
SUSTAINABILITY
BREEAM Very Good

Overview

Energy Coast UTC is a new concept in education for 14 -19 year olds in West Cumbria which opened in September 2014.  The academy combines traditional academic classroom-based learning with practical skills.

The UTC specialises in energy and the curriculum has a strong emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), sustainability, clean technologies and construction.

The UTC is sponsored and supported by GEN II Training, Lakes College and the University of Cumbria. Students will also learn and work with key employers in the area.

The new facility has been built on land next to Energus, a state of the art training and conference centre, in Lillyhall. This location means that students will be using some of the best facilities in the UK, including the engineering workshops of Energus and GEN II Training and the new Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre at Lakes College.

Awards

LABC Building Excellence Awards 2015

Winner – Best Education Building

Finalist – Best Inclusive Building

Key Challenges

A key challenge was to achieve a suitable solution to suit ground conditions without adding time into the programme. By analysis of existing site investigation, a solution of lime stabilisation was adopted that enabled the foundation solution to be expedited and substructure works progressed quickly.

Energy Coast UTC is the most exposed location we have worked in, with one wall of the building taking the force of the Irish Sea and gale force winds.  Our design team and construction delivery team accommodated the exposed marine location within their plans and we applied best practice learned from delivering buildings in Blackpool, Barrow and Walney Island on the same coastline.

Added Value

A programme of student engagement has been produced to target activities across the curriculum at Lakes College and to provide opportunities and apprentice places. These included students designing the site hoarding banner, monthly progress photographs by photography students, ground breaking ceremony, newsletter, science lecture on Lime Stabilisation, monthly site visits, visit to Leach Steel factory to view structural steel fabrication, student competition for footpath signage design, law seminar, annual lectures (3 years

These included students designing the site hoarding banner, monthly progress photographs by photography students, ground breaking ceremony, newsletter, science lecture on Lime Stabilisation, monthly site visits, visit to Leach Steel factory to view structural steel fabrication, student competition for footpath signage design, law seminar, annual lectures (3 years post construction).

We also provided student work placements at ADP (Architectural), Cundall (Structural Engineering) and EWC and apprentice opportunities in Groundworks, Admin Assistant, SFS / Partition / Plastering, Roof Slating, Brickwork, Wall Cladding, Mechanical, Electrical, Joinery, Suspended Ceiling, Decoration, Floor Finishes – Carpet/Vinyl Installation.

Design

The design creates a strong and confident identity for the UTC through building form; and branding through colour, materials and signage that is instantly recognisable and distinct.

The architectural vision was to produce a building which feels professional and inspirational and which engenders a sense of entrepreneurship.

 

This is achieved through features including the unique building envelope, inspiring entrance and circulation spaces, visible independent learning areas and double height spaces, along with clear branding and graphics.

Sustainability

Sustainability has been a fundamental driver for the architecture through tried and tested design principles of a well-insulated, air tight building that optimises natural light and ventilation to minimise energy demand for heating, cooling and illumination; while providing direct end user control.  The building is designed to achieve an A-rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and has achived a BREEAM Very Good Certificate.

Client Feedback

“Eric Wright Construction’s winning design encapsulated all of what we wanted from the building. The project itself has gone exceptionally well considering the 39 week schedule and the nature of the Cumbrian climate! It has been a pleasure working with the EWC team throughout the process. We have worked together effectively to produce a building that has already been exceptionally well received by the students, families, staff and other stakeholders it serves. Personally I would like to thank every single member of the EWC team for the hard work, determination and support they have displayed throughout. I feel exceptionally privileged to now take the building into its operational phase and look forward to ensuring, along with our students, it achieves its potential.”
Gary Jones
Principal of Energy Coast UTC

Get in Touch

For all enquiries, please get in touch with the team here at Eric Wright.