An exciting new project has been delivered in Brighton that has enhanced the natural environment at a new base for the region’s social care services.
Willmott Dixon Interiors has teamed up with Brighton & Hove City Council to design and deliver an ecological design strategy at the former Portslade Community College sixth form centre in Mile Oak Road, Portslade.
We’ve recently converted the vacant building to deliver 24,000 sq ft of modern office accommodation and engaged our supply chain, council members and the local community to support with environmental enhancements – at no additional cost to the customer.
At its centrepiece is a pond, constructed and planted with flora from submerged plants like Curled Pondweed to floater plants such as the Yellow Water Lily.
It will act as a hotspot for multiple species, encouraging others to thrive and even allowing species to live in the pond due to the addition of oxygenator plants.
We’ve also planted more than 200 trees – including native species such as Field Maple and Whitebeam – which has created a hedgerow at the perimeter of the sensory garden and a new home for wildlife.
Additional enhancements include:
- Two log piles and a bug hotel, which will provide shelter from predators, food and home for critters such as beetles
- A rich native wildflower seed bed to encourage a range of invertebrate species
- Bat boxes installed 4m above ground, providing protection from potential ground predators such as cats
- Hedgehog houses offering shelter and protection from potential predators
- A range of bird boxes suited to local species, including swifts
- Bee bricks added to existing brickwork, providing homes for solitary bees
- Planters containing flowers for pollinators, as well as the planting of new plants and bulbs
Kieran Legg, who was construction manager on the project, said that the initiative has delivered significant biodiversity net gain.
He said: “This has been a wonderful project that has brought a community of people together to improve the surrounding environment of an important new building.
“The improvements we have collectively delivered on site in Portslade have contributed to a net gain of nearly 40% for area habitats and more than 90% for linear habitats.
“We are aiming to deliver environmental net gain on all our projects, which means leaving the environment in a measurably better state than we found it.”
Many thanks to our supply chain partners for their contribution: Paine Manwaring, Aqua Platinum Tiling Contractors, GSI Contract Services Ltd, Window Services UK Ltd, BTR Building Services Ltd and LDC Projects Ltd.
Our site team at Portslade included: Tony Karnovski whom was assigned to lead the procurement and community liaison with support from, Will Walkinton, Phil Ashley, Gerry Doyle, Garry Hubbard, Nick Kent and James Howard.