SUSTAINABILITY, ACCESSIBILITY AND BOOKS FOR ALL
The Hive is the successful culmination of a groundbreaking partnership between Worcester County Council and the University of Worcester to create a fully integrated public and university library. This is an idea completely new to the UK and highly innovative internationally. The Hive is also home to the county archives and record office, a local history centre, and the county’s archaeology service.
This hub for the city and the university’s communities was conceived as a truly accessible building. Designed as a ‘social landscape’ it provides horizontal and vertical connections, allowing every user to move around every part of the building freely.
The Hive is a stunning success. Britain's first university and public library is brilliant for our students while attracting and inspiring people throughout Worcestershire.
Prof. David Green, Vice-Chancellor University of Worcester
A book for everyone.
Since its opening, there has been a 500 per cent increase in people signing up as members, compared to the old Library. Book borrowing has been up by 10 per cent.
HIGH ASPIRATIONS FOR LOW CARBON.
The Hive was designed to meet a challenging sustainability brief, including a 50% reduction in operational CO2 emissions. The building is cooled using water from the nearby River Severn, and a biomass boiler uses locally sourced woodchip to generate heat. By incorporating sustainable measures such as these, The Hive achieved an ‘A’ rating from the EPC and BREEAM Outstanding.
Since it opened it has been continuously monitored to reveal that it operates at an electrical energy consumption of 50kWh·m-2 year-1, about half of its design target (and one third to one quarter that of many contemporary office buildings).
It is a testament to the strength of a collective vision pursued by the client, design and contractor teams working collaboratively to create a high performing low carbon building.
To finish such a complex and outstanding building on time and on budget showed that by working together our industry can achieve some really great things.
Peter Parkes, Head of Property Services, Worcestershire County Council
A MATERIAL CHANGE
The unmistakable roof is formed from a series of irregular laminated timber roof cones, bring natural light and ventilation into the building. We used an innovative parametric system that we developed in-house to model the roof. This gave us the tools to explore the materials we used. By using cross laminated timber for the structure, we were able to remove 250 tonnes of steel in the roof. This saved 2,000 tonnes of CO2 compared with a concrete or steel alternative.
Externally, the roof is clad in copper alloy diamond shingles, creating a long-lasting shimmering facade that creates a beacon for learning in Worcester city Centre.