Harrogate International Centre receives 5-star ranking from BREEAM

The
new £11.5m halls at Harrogate International Centre (HIC)
have received the highest five-star ranking from BREEAM, the design and assessment method for sustainable buildings.

The centre’s new bespoke event halls scored an ‘outstanding’ 87.98 per cent at the interim design stage assessment.

According
to a spokesperson for HIC, more than 15,000 projects have been
certified by BREEAM in the UK, with only 51 gaining ‘outstanding’
status. They also believe that HIC is the first conference centre in the
UK to achieve such a ranking.

Council leader and chair of the
HIC board, councillor Anthony Alton, said from the outset the council
aimed to achieve the BREEAM score of excellent (70 per cent) for the new
halls, so to have received a score of outstanding at nearly
88 per cent was a credit to all involved.

“Like many
businesses, we are faced with crippling taxes if we exceed the
government’s restrictions on energy use,” he said. “So attaining a high
level of sustainability was part and parcel of the design concept and
contract,” he said. “We are all much more conscious about our
responsibility to save energy. Our motivation may be to reduce our bills
but we also want to protect the environment and limit our carbon
emissions. New technology is helping us do that.”

The BREEAM
assessment uses recognised measures on performance, which is set against
established benchmarks to evaluate a building’s design, but the
assessors created a unique assessment for HIC’s new build.

Acting
director of HIC, Simon Kent welcomed this tailored approach. “These halls are unique to our centre and therefore needed a bespoke
approach,” he said. “In an industry that is heavy on energy, this is
another selling point for us. People who bring their business to the
centre are expected to do all they can to offset their energy use and it
is only right and proper that they can see we are acting responsibly
too.” 

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Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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