Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200 year old legacy.
Cadent is very much in support of the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050.
They back the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas as the main source of fuel for the UK energy consumption of the future.
Cadent are keen to win the hearts and minds of the British public in accepting the idea of a change to Hydrogen as a fuel for their energy needs and so Roshal, having worked successfully with Cadent in the past, were asked to design and build a Hydrogen Experience Centre (HEC) where the general public could visit and see exhibitions and demonstrations to better understand the concept of using Hydrogen as a safe and more efficient alternative to natural gas.
The site chosen for this new and exciting facility was the most inauspicious area of a brown field site in the Whitby area of Ellesmere Port in the Wirral peninsular.
However not being a team to shy away from a challenge we set to work on a design to transform the site into an area of interest which would attract people to come and explore this exciting new energy concept.
“Roshals design team and their entire workforce are a credit to their company.”
The new HEC had to be the central focus of the site and needed to provide a ‘customer outreach zone’, offices, meeting rooms and welfare facilities.
Good access and parking were also a prerequisite of a successful design.
Flexibility was important to the project as the facility in Ellesmere Port would have a finite life span with the possibility of dismantling and relocation to another site elsewhere in the UK as the concept of Hydrogen as an alternative fuel was rolled out nationwide.
It was decided therefore, that high quality portable modular buildings would be the answer with several units linked together with interconnecting sections creating a seamless transition between different functionalities of the facility.
In order to escape from the fact that the buildings were in fact modular temporary units, the internal design incorporated high end glass partitions and furniture, along with a living wall feature.
Operable walls allowed smaller meeting rooms to be opened up as necessary for larger conference style presentations.
Externally, the site was fully enclosed with high security fencing which was then screened with sustainable structured planting along with green ‘banked’ features and specimen trees.
Access roads and car parking were installed along with a full site drainage system.
Pedestrian walk ways from site entry to the HEC facility were installed to weave through the site with low level feature lighting to enhance the approach and to create further interest.
Two walls of the portable units were clad in ‘Brick work’ effect vinyl to add interest and to create a link to the local built environment.
Dusk to dawn street lighting meant that the site was presented as a feature within the locality.
“Myself and the whole project team were astounded at the transformation of this derelict site into an attractive and fit for purpose facility. Roshals design team and their entire workforce are a credit to their company.”
Senior Team Leader (special projects)
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