Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre

"A multi award winning sustainable boathouse"

The multi award winning project to build a sustainable boathouse facility that is accessible to disabled people, includes a secure storage for boats and equipment, suits the historic site aesthetically and fits with the natural landscape.

The facility at Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre will be used by groups taking part in lake activities like canoeing, raft building and fishing as well as by campers using the adjacent field. The building will be timber framed, the south facing roof will have solar panels and the north side will be a green living roof.

Fitted with a hybrid solar thermal, photovoltaic and accelerative heat pump system, the boathouse will be able to convert enough solar energy to heat 6,000 litres of water every day for the facility’s shower block. Not only will the lakeside structure generate all the energy it needs to operate but it will also feed surplus energy back into the grid providing the charity with valuable additional income from the Government’s Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive schemes.

Within seven years the technology will have paid for itself and in approximately a further eight years, the cost of the entire building will have been covered by revenue received from the renewable energy it produces.

The development is part of a series of phased improvements at Avon Tyrrell to cater for the growing demand for holidays and activities there. It will replace a mixture of existing temporary structures and be designed to cater for guests with disabilities.

As well as a shower and toilet block, the boathouse will also feature a secure equipment store. More than 10,000 young people every year are expected to use the new facility including those visiting the activity centre for water sports, camping and fishing.

The project helps to:

  • conserve the biodiversity of the National Park by providing a facility that is in keeping with the cultural heritage and natural landscape of the surrounding area
  • reduce carbon emissions within the National Park by installing sustainable energy technology
  • promote environmental awareness to more than 10,000 young people expected to use the centre every year.

The project was designed and delivered through HPW Architects using various Carbon Free Group members for specific areas of expertise including the design of the integrated renewable energy solution that enabled the building to obtain its zero-carbon status.

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