The Base is a landmark building in the heart of Dartford. The rhp designed, BREEAM ‘Excellent’, business centre for start-up companies also serves as a catalyst for regeneration in the Northern Gateway area of the city.
Our brief from SEEDA and the HCA was for a benchmark scheme comprising a mix of contemporary and flexible workspaces which specifically target the needs of small businesses. Our scheme consists of two separate buildings, one containing B1 office space, and the other light industrial B2 studio/workshop space. The Centre’s design has strong environmental credentials including innovative controls to minimise the operational energy requirements of the centre. A passive ventilation strategy incorporates the thermal mass of exposed concrete soffits throughout the building to cool the spaces avoids the need for ‘carbon-rich’ air conditioning.
The sedum green roofs on the studio/workshop units enhance the local ecology and, together with the scheme’s rainwater harvesting and SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System), attenuate the rainwater run-off from the site. Solar panels supplement the hot water provisions for the shared facilities.
The project was completed in 2011 and opened with a record number of pre-occupation agreements – with 65% of the Centre pre-let.