Plymouth College of Art opens new £6m workshop

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The Plymouth College of Art has recently inaugurated a new £6m state-of-the-art workshop block that was built on an area of vacant land within the heart of Plymouth’s busy city centre. The four-storey building will provide 3,444m2 of specialist workshop space and will house ceramics, glass and digital design workshops, as well as student workstations, communal hubs and display areas.

Construction services company Balfour Beatty was awarded the contract for building the new workshop. The scheme has seen close collaboration with the students and staff at the College through the provision of work experience, resulting in an apprenticeship with Balfour Beatty being awarded to one student. Students were also allowed supervised access to the site to collect waste materials to use on their projects and the team involved them in the design for the site hoardings.

The developer incorporated a number of energy saving elements and design features in the building which is set to achieve the industry-recognised BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard, including the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof and heat recovery from kilns in the workshop, where hot water is heated to provide warmth for other buildings on campus. There was also a clear commitment to reducing waste on the project with 99.81% of all site waste recycled.

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