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hiveCollaboration between Worcester County Council and the University of Worcester has led to the development of a library that is capable of serving both the general public as well a university. Both parties instilled a strong sense of learning, innovation and sustainability right from the start of this project, and subsequently The Hive achieved the ‘Outstanding’ rating when assessed against BREEAM criteria. This library is an excellent example of how collaboration, combined with intelligent designing, can result in a flexible sustainable construction which the whole community can engage with.

The design and positioning of The Hive ensures that the building maximises the use of natural resources to help provide lighting and ventilation for its occupants. Furthermore, clever design techniques such as keeping the concrete soffits exposed, ensures that the thermal mass of the building can help to keep internal temperatures at a desirable level. The building has also incorporated a series of technologies which ensure the building remains a comfortable place to work even during particularly hot/cold external conditions. The introduction of a biomass boiler enables the building to remain warm during the colder months, while The Hive utilises the cool water from the River Severn to help reduce internal temperatures during warmer periods. With regards to educating the community, over one million books were issued within the first 12 months of the building opening, while students at the university have also been able to monitor the ecological development of the soft landscape surrounding the library. The Hive offers a hub for education, and the iconic building demonstrates to the public the importance of sustainability.

Everyone is allowed to access the building, so head over to The Hive to witness it!

To learn more about The Hive, as well as their opening times, information can be found here: http://www.thehiveworcester.org/

Green Growth Generation themes: People and places

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