Green Building of the Year

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The Independent Online
A HOSPITAL powered by wind energy, an office block set in a man-made nature reserve and a rebuilt Victorian theatre which uses water from a 160ft well for air-conditioning are among finalists for the Green Building of the Year Award, sponsored by the Heating and Ventilating Contractors' Association and the Independent on Sunday. Five buildings have been shortlisted by the judges for the award, now in its third year.

In Glasgow, the Grosvenor ballroom, a well-known Victorian landmark designed by Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, has been turned into offices by P & O Properties. The great marble fireplace, a centrepiece of the ballroom, has been renovated. In Carshalton, Surrey, a public hall built in the 1860s, now a listed building, has been turned into a studio theatre and workshop. Conventional air- conditioning systems could not be used. Instead two wells were sunk to bring cold water up from the underground chalk aquifers to cool the building. Near Ringwood in Hampshire, Feilden Clegg has designed a new centre for the Sheiling Community, a group of mentally handicapped young people. The community is part of the Camphill movement, launched in the 1940s under the influence of Rudolf Steiner, and the building attempts to reflect his ideas about the unity of man with nature.

The two other buildings shortlisted are Wansbeck Hospital near Ashington in Northumberland, probably the most energy-efficient hospital in the UK, and Grayling Court at Doxford Business Park near Sunderland, an office block built on a greenfield site under the guidance of David Bellamy Associates. It has been surrounded by green corridors with native wildlife species, including man-made wetlands.

The results will be announced at the Natural History Museum on 10 May.