Passivhaus Affiliate

Work begins on Passivhaus Archive building in Hereford

Work has begun on the £8.1 million archive building at Rotherwas in Hereford. The official sod cutting for the new facility took place on 22 August. When complete by September 2014, it will be the first building of its type in the UK to be built to such high energy, storage and exhibition of archival material standards.

The new building will have better access for visitors and be more energy efficient, with running costs significantly less because of the cutting edge Passivhaus design, and will house the 17,500 boxes of records dating back to the 12th Century.

Currently the majority of the country’s archive records are stored at a building in Hereford that does not meet the environmental and access standards required by The National Archives for accreditation and is in need of extensive and costly repair.

Herefordshire Council has been working with architects Architype, consultants EC Harris and contractors Kier Construction to design a new facility which will comply with Government Regulations for storing archival records.

Mark Barry from Architype said: “Architype is delighted to be involved in shaping this important and exciting public project. From the initial feasibility stage, we have worked very closely with the client team and end users to develop a design response that meets requirements and inherently has a low energy demand.This building will be the first building of this type in the UK to be certified to the Passivhaus standard – the most rigorous energy standard in Europe, and in all likelihood, it will also be the first archive building in the UK to be built to the latest standards for the storage and exhibition of archival materials. This challenge is a real testament to the commitment and collaboration of the client, design team and contractor."

Cllr Roger Phillips, cabinet member for economy and culture said: "I'm delighted we are now underway and that the new centre will ensure we comply with national standards and will keep the county's archive records in the county. If we were to lose accreditation for storing our archives and records, we would have to look at having them stored outside the county in an accredited facility. The new facility will mean people will have much better access to the archived records and have a place to research and learn about our county's history for years to come."

The new centre will offer a range of social and community outreach programmes, a dedicated educational room and improved facilities and access for the public. It will also bring the archive, the county's archaeology unit, the historic environment record, and the biological records centre together in one building, allowing people access to all these records in one place.

The plans to build the new facility were approved in January this year and the construction is due to be completed for opening in September 2014.




1st September 2013

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