Breath of fresh air in Dumbarton Council building

Five hundred staff have moved into a flagship council office building in Dumbarton following a £15.4m refurbishment.

The modern conservation project, aimed at breathing new life into the centre of Dumbarton, replaces the previously inefficient, outdated and dilapidated Garshake building on the outskirts of town.

The new council office in Scotland was once a significant historical landmark called Burgh Hall and Dumbarton Academy.

WDC by Keppie. Copyright Jim Stephenson 2018

Inside, as part of the works to the public and civic areas within the Grade ‘A’ listed façade, air distribution products were supplied by Waterloo Air Products plc.

Beyond its welcoming public service desk, multi-use civic space, training and meeting rooms, and a new office building to the rear, a state-of-the-art variable ventilation system was installed in the new facility.

In a building of this size, it was imperative to control the air flow to maintain the right comfort levels throughout the office’s main entrance, reception, civic space and training rooms.

Waterloo’s small format linear slot diffusers are highly suited to variable volume applications due to the excellent low flow rate air diffusion characteristics and high air handing capacity.

Consideration also had to be given to the three floors of office space which are organised around a central atrium – the social heart of the building.

Waterloo’s linear slot diffusers are perfect for a prestigious project of this kind, but because of their versatility, they can also be expertly fitted into residential and industrial sites.

The building was subject to a rigorous consolidation and repair strategy and was supported by a £500,000 grant from Historical Environment Scotland. Thanks to the funding, it was possible to retain the infamous William Leiper-designed academy façade and create a modern workplace inside.

Euan Tyson, project manager at West Dunbartonshire Council’s, says: “Staff and members of the community have given us such positive feedback since the project was completed at 16 Church Street.

“The excellent new workspace really does promote our flexible working ethos. It’s fair to say that the conservation work to the Grade A-listed building has brought a significant historical landmark back to life and Dumbarton is a better place for it.

“We’ve now got a civic building to be proud of.”

The project in Dumbarton, was identified as a hotspot to help regenerate the town centre. In a conscious effort to bring the local High Street back to life, no canteen was created for staff. The aim of this was to encourage staff to visit the High Street and use local shops and cafes.

Since relocating, many retail units in the High Street have now been leased, a project for 150 new affordable homes has started on site and a leading supermarket has received planning permission for a new commercial development.

Jim Campbell, sales agent at Waterloo Air Products, says the project at West Dunbartonshire Council HQ has totally transformed the town centre building.

He says: “When you’re working with an unusual space, which has a Grade ‘A’ listed façade, creating the right look is of paramount importance.

“The client’s preference was for linear slot diffusers, as they are the best option to combine high air change rate capacity with maximum flexibility in air pattern and volume control, we helped to create the best solution for this.”

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