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Marstons Hub, Ludlow

Client: Connexus

Architect: K4 Architects

Contractor: SJ Roberts Construction

Marstons Hub is a new £1.2 million facility for young people, set within the historic market town of Ludlow, in South Shropshire. The 1,845 m2 development comprises of 11 new build homes (including 3 fully accessible units), 13 refurbished homes within the mill, 10,000 sq.ft. commercial workspace, over 3 levels and a 1,000 sq.ft. community café space. Lowfield Timber Frames designed, manufactured and installed the timber frame system for the development to reduce build time and maintenance costs while maximising quality and environmental benefits.

The scheme incorporates supported residential accommodation for vulnerable young (and some older) adults and pathways into training and apprenticeships. The programme also offers life skills, such as independent living, flat-sharing and taking personal responsibility for budgeting etc.

The Marstons Hub project proves that the combination of a sustainable approach and local skills/ materials does not limit design innovation, even when restricted to budget. Operating a collaborative culture and performance centric approach, Lowfield are a specialist partner who design, manufacture and install state of the art timber solutions.

To meet Connexus’ need for a sustainable solution to develop a low energy supported living solution, Lowfield Timber Frames designed a timber system for Marstons Hub that minimises energy impact and facilitates maximum airtightness. The overall aim was to develop sustainability and quality while eradicating fuel poverty and improving residents’ health and wellbeing.

This is an excellent example of collaboration between a local authority, developer and specialist contractor. Lowfield Timber Frames translated the architect’s designs to create a fully bespoke timber system, applying a fabric first approach that requires minimal energy. The fabric first approach enables comfortable lifestyles for residents while minimising operational costs.

Lowfield designed a timber system using a 140mm frame with 120mm PIR insulation factory fitted. An additional 50mm PIR was fitted internally to increase the U-value and reduce the thermal bridging, both meeting low energy targets and reducing the needs for costly heating. The project achieved a U-value of 0.14W/m2k for the interior walls and roof.