Composite Timber Dura Cladding has been chosen for an exciting new retail, leisure and tourism destination in the Nene Valley. The Rushden Lakes site near Northampton is due to open in Summer 2017 and is the largest out-of-town scheme of its kind in a decade.
HPW Architecture led the design and development of the masterplan for the project, which is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and centres around restoring public access to a network of lakes, as well as offering unrivalled shopping and leisure facilities.
As the development is situated adjacent to a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a designated nature reserve, it was critical that both the design and construction processes embraced the challenges and opportunities provided by the unique setting. In consultation with the Wildlife Trust and Natural England, HPW designed three net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs), which are clad in Dura Cladding from Dura Composites. Dura Cladding is made from high performance composite timber and is a sustainable alternative to traditional timber made from recycled materials. Dura Cladding is also 100% Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certified and offers superb low maintenance properties as well as an attractive finish that looks just like natural wood but doesn’t ever require treating, painting or staining.
The net-zero energy buildings comprise of the Boathouse, Wildlife Trust Visitors Centre and the Management Office which are distinguished from other buildings in the development through the use of Dura Cladding Type 150 Flush in Cedar colour. All three buildings are super-insulated with all required energy for operation generated on-site to keep running costs to a minimum.
The anchor retail buildings on the terraces including House of Fraser have been part clad in Dura Cladding Type 150 Flush in Grey to provide a contrasting finish whilst retaining the aesthetic look, durability, UV performance and sustainable credentials that the developers were looking for.
Commenting on the project, Gary Wilburn, director of design and sustainability for HPW said; “This is a unique project and one which we have been delighted to have been involved in right from the concept stage 8 years ago. At HPW we specialise in projects like this where wildlife and the natural surroundings are a key part of the design, and we’re really pleased with the role that the Dura Cladding in both Cedar and Grey have played in helping us maintain that ethos. With a project on this scale it’s important to ensure that the resulting development delivers on all of its promises and the recycled properties of Dura Cladding, together with its FSC® status have helped us to meet our overall sustainability goals. The low-maintenance benefits of a composite timber cladding combined with the peace of mind provided by the product warranty have contributed towards a genuine legacy for future generations of which we are very proud.”
The first phase of the Rushden Lakes development is due to open in July and will be followed by phase two of the scheme, which includes additional shops, restaurants and a 14-screen cinema.