Creative Industries building Glyndwr University - Lawray Ltd T/A Lawray Architects

Lawray Ltd T/A Lawray Architects
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Lawray Ltd T/A Lawray Architects

Creative Industries building Glyndwr University

Wrexham, North Wales

Creative Industries - sketch (vista)

Creative Industries - sketch (vista)

Creative Industries building Glyndwr University

Wrexham, North Wales 




New Build 

Client Name: Glyndwr University (novated to ISG Regions)
Project Name: Creative Industries Building
Value: £2.4 million project costs (including fit out)
Dates: January-December 2010 (Opening second semester in early 2011)

The new Creative Industries Building at Glyndŵr University, Wrexham, is due to be completed in early December this year, and last week an important milestone in its construction was started; the new ‘green’ roof.

What is a ‘green’ roof?

This is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation in a growing medium, planted over a waterproof membrane. They may also include drainage and irrigation systems.

The original ‘green’ roof dates back thousands of years, to sod roofs in Scandinavia, and was particularly popular across Northern and Central Europe. Now the idea has been extended and expanded upon using modern technologies to provide further environmental and value benefits.

What will it look like?

The roof is in the form of a spiral which starts with the grass embankment to the west of the new building. The roof therefore effectively becomes an extension of the surrounding landscape (which was one of the primary reasons for it having a natural finish).

The planting is actually sedum rather than grass, as this is more resilient to dry spells, and when completed there will be over eighteen new species on the roof to attract more wildlife onto this corner of the University site which already has a diverse ecology.

It will be another four or five weeks until the last six species are planted separately and the scaffolding is removed, at which time it should also have matured a little, giving a ‘taste’ of how it will look and develop as time goes on.

Why use a ‘green’ roof?

Not everyone is a fan of the ‘green’ roof system, however in this instance the green roof works on so several levels: -

The new accommodation is for studios and other noise sensitive areas, this building is also next to the busy main access road into Wrexham. The ‘green’ roof construction will help to reduce and deaden the sound inside the building. A traditional roof would not have had the necessary density to provide the desired quiet internal spaces.

The roof also attenuates the flow of rainwater. The ‘grass’ helps to soak up rain and any surplus trickles out into the rainwater collection which is then reused to flush the toilets in the building. No rainwater from this building will enter the existing storm water drains from the University.

Green roofs can also help to insulate and regulate temperatures inside the building.

Adding new species of planting will attract an even more diverse range of wildlife to this area and help sustain the existing ecology.

Whether you define sustainable design as visually blending in with the surroundings, conserving our water supplies, increasing biodiversity, creating comfortable acoustic environments, reducing waste, or in design of flexible multi-use spaces, the new roof on the Creative Industries Building achieves multiple objectives and demonstrates the University’s and Lawrays ongoing commitment to sustainability and the environment.