The Herefordshire Archive & Records Centre (HARC) has been acknowledged by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) by winning one of their West Midlands Regional Awards.
RIBA identified the new state of the art facility as “the first archive building to be designed and built to the new guidance on the storage and exhibition of archival materials. The guidance includes the need to reconcile the long-term preservation of collections with the need to reduce energy used. The new building is the first Passivhaus archive building in the UK with claimed operational savings of around 80% compared to similar facilities built to UK Building Regulation standards.
The new building, which falls within the Hereford Enterprise Zone, performs an important function of ‘raising the bar’ for architectural design within the zone, not only visually, but in terms of sustainability aspirations.”
Herefordshire Council worked with consultants EC Harris, contractors Kier Construction and architects Architype to design the new facility which complies with Government regulations for storing archival records. The building is the first of its type in the UK.
Mark Barry, Project Architect and Director of Architype said, “It’s fantastic to see this pioneering project receiving such accolades and peer recognition. The strong vision and commitment of the client, design team and contractor has led to the delivery of a building that is continuing to have a great impact in the architectural and archival sectors.”
The project is a huge success and celebrates the efforts of all involved from the design stage through to construction. Herefordshire now has the most up-to-date records centre in the UK which also boasts a reduction in heating and lighting costs in comparison to its Harold Street predecessor.
The new centre offers a range of social and community outreach programmes, a dedicated educational room and improved facilities and access for the public.
It also brings 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.