Building works are progressing nicely at the new £9m conference facility that we designed on behalf of global specialty chemical corporation, Lubrizol.

The new conference facility, which has taken three years to plan and design, is being built on the company’s existing site in Hazelwood, Derbyshire, which it has occupied for the last 70 years.

In April 2019, family owned construction company G F Tomlinson was appointed to build the new £9m high-tech conferencing centre which will be partially built below ground to create a split-level, high-tech meeting and training facility.

Lubrizol, which has 350 employees at the Hazelwood site has described the centre as a significant investment which will ensure the site continues to carry out world-leading research in the heart of the Amber Valley.

Morrison Design has designed a new £9m conference facility on behalf of global chemical corporation, Lubrizol.

During the design phase we worked extensively with Lubrizol to understand the design brief and ensure it was sympathetically designed and considered the local environment and community. 

The new conference facility will directly replace Lubrizol’s ageing training facility and will be as energy efficient as possible, protecting the internal spaces from overheating in the summer, whilst taking advantage of the passive solar heat in the winter. The building also incorporates heat recovery systems, natural ventilation and re-circulation canopies.

It will be split level and built into the hillside so that the majority of it is underground, while its position and a new tree planting scheme will mean it is hidden from view for local residents and passing traffic.

The new building will be able to accommodate up to 200 people, predominantly staff and customers, in six flexible conference areas which, thanks to retractable stadium-style seating, can be converted into an auditorium setting in front of a large, floor-to-ceiling cinema-style screen.

It will also be extremely energy efficient, thanks to a glass frontage, a living roof and intelligent lighting, heating and technology controls which automatically respond to the numbers of people using the building to ensure the environment does not detract from the experience.

Simon Griffiths, general manager of Lubrizol, Hazelwood said:  “This is a world-class facility that will have been designed and built in the heart of Derbyshire, and which will help Lubrizol to grow and stay at the forefront of our industry in the 70 countries we operate in across the globe.

“This cutting-edge development will safeguard the future of this site, while the local hotels and restaurants will benefit from the delegates who come to visit us. It’s a tremendously exciting prospect and now that we have our contractors in place, we are looking forward to seeing it take shape.”

Lubrizol has spent several years drawing up its plans, which originally involved converting a former barn complex elsewhere on its site.

Commenting on the project, Peter Newman-Earp, Director at Morrison Design Limited said, “During the design phase we will always listen to our client’s requirements and ensure we are aware of and sensitive to any planning restrictions related to the local environment. It’s great to see this project finally taking shape”. 

Lubrizol has also committed to minimising the impact created during the building’s construction, ensuring that nothing is taken to landfill, while lorry movements will be kept to a minimum through the retainment on site of the excavated material.

The company has worked with the local parish council to develop an extensive planting scheme and has also developed a wildlife management plan that will further increase the biodiversity of the site, which is already home to 75 species of birds and animals.

Lubrizol also plans to work with local farmers and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to ensure that any landscaping carried out as part of the development uses native trees and plants.

Work will continue on site in the coming months and is expected to be completed by mid-2020.