We are pleased to announce Fords of Blythe Bridge has been named winner of the ‘Best Inclusive Building’ Category in the prestigious West Midlands Regional LABC Building Excellence Awards 2016 for South Staffordshire College’s ‘Futures@SSC’ Independent Learning Centre.
This award recognises schemes which have gone beyond minimum design standards to ensure that the highest standards of inclusive design have been achieved, avoiding segregation and barriers to access and inclusion.
Specific Criteria states entries should not be limited to ‘specialist’ or ‘segregated’ provision for which the end users necessitate an accessible design. They should give evidence of an inclusive approach which goes beyond Part M of the Building Regulations, adopting a pan-disability/ pan-impairment approach, incorporating the needs of a wide range of users.
Located on the College’s 180 hectare rural Rodbaston estate, this purpose built facility opened it’s doors in 2015 and enables young people aged 16-25 with complex learning needs to access specialist education and training within Staffordshire. Home to a sensory space, independent skills suite, preparation for work area and giant interactive tablet computer, the centre was designed to cater for learners with a range of needs and disabilities including Autism spectrum disorders, Down’s Syndrome, William’s Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome and sensory impairments.
The innovative space, which was designed by architects Maber and constructed by Fords of Blythe Bridge was designed to reflect the rich heritage and rural history of the College’s Rodbaston Campus, while utilising modern methods of construction and sustainable materials such as cedar cladding. The building was also designed to achieve superior levels of air-tightness and thermal performance, and achieved an EPC rating B/31, which is in excess of building regulation requirements.
Naturally, Futures@SSC was also designed to have inclusivity and public access at the very core of its construction, with accessible design throughout, from the external hard landscaping to the internal layouts, which go far beyond statutory requirements and provide unique educational facilities for students.
Having been crowned winners of the ‘Best Inclusive Building’ Category at an awards ceremony which was held at the Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton on Friday 9th September, the development will now be entered into the National Finals, where it will compete against some of the finest buildings throughout the UK.