Big Parks Peacehaven is a community led project to create a new recreation destination in Peacehaven, East Sussex. It is a highly sustainable project designed for all sections of the community, including a central activity café, children’s playgrounds, new cycle paths, skate park, and sports facilities. The park adjoins the South Downs National Park and provides a gateway to exploring the wider countryside. An in-depth consultation was carried out with the local community to ensure their priorities for Big Parks Project were identified and delivered.
In response to public feedback and the design team’s aspirations, delivering sustainability was strategically placed at the forefront of Big Park’s design. An integrated mix of renewable energy technology and durable low-maintenance construction materials, have ensured the project benefits from low running costs, energy efficiency and will remain in operation for the long-term. Big Park’s overall design purposely raises awareness of sustainability for educational purposes, by overtly displaying sustainable aspects of the project, such as the café’s PV panels.
In technical terms, the newly created environment included:
- A micro biomass pellet burning stove specially designed for a building of this size, fuelled with locally sourced pellets. It is connected to a thermal store for use by the stove and solar thermal system
- 8 Photo-Voltaic (PV) panels producing 1807.0 kWh/m2 pa
- 1 solar thermal panel producing 1156.0 kWh/m2 pa
- Energy efficient LED Lighting throughout
- Sweet chestnut cladding, primarily sourced locally in East Sussex, is naturally durable, and is a fast-growing, replaceable tree. The cladding was ‘finger-jointed’ to reduce wasted wood
- Canopies provide solar shading to the café’s large glass windows/doors ensuring internal temperatures are balanced and maintained by limiting solar gain
- Naturally ventilated through large sliding/folding doors
The project has been delivered on 30 acres of land given by Southern Water and funded by financial contributions from Southern Water and Bovis Homes and has been awarded multiple accolades since its completion including, Constructing Excellence Sustainability Award – Winner; Architects Journal Retrofit Award – Winner 2015; RIBA South East Award – Winner 2016; Sussex Heritage Trust Public & Community Commended.