Designed by Reiach and Hall Architects, the new centre will be part of an overall £9m project to establish the site's position as one of the most historically and culturally important places in Scotland. State-of-the-art 3D technology will bring the brutal realities of medieval battle to life, in a way which those behind the project claim has not previously been achieved. Also it is hoped that by raising the physical presence of the battle site, it will in itself become established as an international landmark.
Other features of the project include a café; staff accommodation; an education room with 60 people capacity; and sustainable design elements such as ground source heating. Thermal efficiency and energy saving construction issues are central to the design, where the avoidance of thermal bridging is a major consideration. With thermal bridging the most widely recognised consequences are resultant heat and energy loss. However, an area of increasing concern these days is condensation and mould growth formation, which can often lead to potential health and respiratory problems.
There is a canopy overhang around the perimeter of the main building and the Schöck Isokorb® thermal break module type KST 16, has been incorporated to prevent any risk of thermal bridging at these critical connectivity points.
The KST 16, which is designed for moment and shear force connections, offers an unrivalled solution for the avoidance of thermal bridges in free cantilever steel-to-steel construction. The units comfortably exceed requirements of the UK regulation as described in BRE IP1/06, which stipulates that the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (fRSI), must be greater than, or equal to, 0.50 for commercial buildings.
Additional benefits of the KST 16 are that it enables a high level of prefabrication, its modular construction means that the system can be used for connections with all profile sizes and structural loads, and it guarantees the shortest planning and assembly times. The unit also provides both BBA Certification and LABC Registration.
Sinclair Knight Merz commented: "We have worked with Schoeck on both the Maggies Gartnavel project and the visitor centre for Bannockburn and have used Schöck for these projects in particular because of the good technical advice and detailed calculation service provided".
The new Bannockburn Heritage Centre, built on the site of the existing centre, represents a partnership between National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, and is funded by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund. In addition to the main visitor centre, the surrounding commemorative park areas will undergo substantial landscaping works designed by Ian White Associates. These will include new external interpretations, access roads, lighting, new footways, and close attention to flora and fauna detail.
Historic Scotland Chief Executive, Ruth Parsons, said: "In looking at all we want to achieve with world-class, cutting edge technology to immerse the visitor in the experience of battle, we quickly realised that the existing centre would not be able to accommodate everything we wanted. I am very excited to be able to unveil the new designs created exclusively for this project by Reiach and Hall. They bring with them a great empathy for what we want to achieve and I think they have created a design that will be the perfect canvas to the exceptional interpretation we are planning to introduce."