ME5620: The Wilts and Berks Canal Trust was formed in 1977 to bring the canal back into use for recreational boat users with access to walkers and cyclists.

The Wilts and Berks Canal Trust was formed in 1977 to bring the canal back into use for recreational boat users with access to walkers and cyclists. That task is enormous because the canal has been disused since 1914. The canal opened in 1810, running 52 miles from the Thames near Abingdon to the Kennet and Avon Canal near Melksham.

It passes through the outskirts of Swindon which has grown immensely since 1810. Much of the original route has been overbuilt but the increase in population in the area has increased the demand for amenity space and many new developments have protected the proposed route changes and even helped to restore parts of the canal.

WBCT has taken over one Public House on the route that will become a Visitor Centre. But other Visitor Centres will be needed near to centres of population to meet the needs of local people and visitors to the area. By creating these centres, the public will become more aware of the canal and it will generate much-needed revenue. As climate change is a major concern, the new buildings must be at the forefront of sustainable design and operation.

One area that has been selected as a popular location is ‘Templar’s Firs’ on the outskirts of Royal Wootton Bassett, about 6 miles from Swindon. There is a redundant council refuse depot which could be a suitable site and a preliminary design is needed to progress planning for a possible Visitor Centre.

The outline design for the new building is shown in a separate document together with details of its construction. You are required to carry out a detailed assessment of the potential for building fabric energy efficiency, building services and low carbon/renewable energy technology for the proposed new building. This will involve producing a client report in two stages.