11 May 2020
sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
BBS Construction was brought in to rejuvenate an area of previously underused heathland on high ground overlooking the River Thames. The project has created a positive impact on Dartford, allowing training and apprenticeship opportunities during construction and via its day-to-day operations as a rugby club and Dartford Council-owned building. The new building has allowed both the council and DVRFC to forge links with the local community. It has become a community hub offering local residents a rugby/sports facility and social, educational, and support classes for all ages.
The facility includes a clubhouse building and two full-size, international-standard pitches; all-weather 3G pitch to the west of the clubhouse, and an all-grass pitch to be formed following the removal of overhead power lines to the east. The clubhouse is well-sited between the pitches with player access and spectator views for both pitches, and a large function room at first-floor level - with ‘Matchday’ accommodation on the ground floor level.
Externally, the clubhouse has been designed to express a horizontal emphasis – reinforcing the direction of play on adjacent pitches, helping the building to appear lower on the horizon of the elevated site. Accoya timber cladding to the upper floor provides a sustainable, attractive finish that will be long-lasting, minimising the need for maintenance.
The building is fully accessible and designed to maximise natural ventilation. Roof-mounted photovoltaic cells provide a zero-carbon renewable source of electricity.
The result is a new sports facility which has proven both popular and successful. This is testament to the client’s decision to retain their architect throughout all stages of the design process, and to the construction teams involved who worked in close partnership with both the council and DVRFC.
About the Building Project of the Year Award:
The SECBE Awards team look for outstanding local projects that: demonstrate great team working between the client and entire supply chain; were delivered before the programmed completion date, below the approved cost plan and to quality exceeding expectation whilst delivering the highest of health and safety standards; achieved the lowest environmental impacts; delivered outstanding customer satisfaction and may have also received praise from other stakeholders, and demonstrated the highest levels of the application of best practice, innovation and technical achievement to overcome the project’s challenges.