The Beacon Centre for the Blind Wins Award
The Beacon Centre for the Blind has been judged best project nationally in this year’s Chartered Institute of Housing Awards in the category ‘Meeting the Needs of Vulnerable People’.
The £18 million centre was opened in June 2010 by HRH the Princess Royal. Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the new 25,000 sqft centre, which includes the administrative offices for the Beacon Centre charity, craft rooms, social rooms, a fully equipped recreational hall and gym, IT suite, a training and employment area and a talking newspaper studio.
The Princess Royal also visited one of the 71 apartments linked to the centre, which are specially designed for people with visual impairment.
The project has been designed with sustainability as a major objective and includes a natural ventilation system, which draws fresh air into the building to effectively provide free night time cooling and allow exhaust air to be convected through terminals on the roof. Other sustainable strategies such as solar heated hot water, high insulation levels and various water saving devices all combine to allow a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating to be achieved.