Slough Ice Arena wins building award

The arena topped the best Public Service Building in the regional category of the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2019. It will now be pitted against the winners of other regions in a bid to become the country’s best public service building.

The striking semi-circular structure was built around the shell of the existing ice rink. It also had to incorporate expanded facilities which included a double height climbing wall, café and gym, as well as having an aesthetically pleasing finish with a low environmental impact.

Around 80 per cent of the building, including unique and specially made 30m wide, 12m high, three tonnes in weight glulam beams, were built on the continent and pieced together onsite. Staff and designers had to be accurate with a maximum allowable 1mm margin of error.

The arena project also had a tight deadline and it opened on time in February 2018.

Joe Carter, director of regeneration, attended the award ceremony and said he was delighted one of the borough council’s main projects had received such positive praise and would now go on to compete against other structures across the UK.

He said: “Following a council decision to refurbish and extend our existing ice arena, Slough Building Control met with key stakeholders that included the council’s leisure team, architect GT3 and the design and build contractors Morgan Sindall.

“The continuing environmental impact dominated discussions in early design meetings since the works included renovation to thermal elements, new heating and cooling systems and a highly glazed front extension.

“The steel frame for the building created a sumptuous curve, matching the ice arena's existing curved shape. In order to extend the curved structure out to create a canopy extension, Morgan Sindall installed a curved steel frame.”

He said it was an excellent example of contractors and council departments working together particularly building control who were able to act quickly on queries with the site being directly opposite the council offices in Montem Lane.

An Energy Performance Certificate rating of ‘B’ was achieved and included a 20 per cent reduction in C02 emissions through the efficiency of the new mechanical plant.

A concerted effort was also made to employ as many people and contractors from within 25 miles of the site and more than £2million was reinvested back into local areas with almost all sub contractors being small or medium sized business or SMEs.

The building has now been nominated for the Grand Final of the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2019 later on in the year.