Blog: SECBE Awards 2022 finalist - Dinton Activity Centre

06 April 2022

Modern Methods of Construction

Dinton Activity Centre (submitted by HLM Architects)  

Modern Methods of Construction Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 finalist

The new £2.4m scheme provides a state-of-the-art educational and leisure facility for the local community which sits in lakeside surroundings in Dinton Country Park.  The design of the building takes inspiration from its setting and is designed in its scale and appearance to connect with its location by having two interlinked volumes clad in Siberian larch that will weather over time to blend in with the natural landscape.

The centre is Net Zero Carbon, with several eco-friendly benefits including windcatchers, photovoltaic panels on the roof and air source heat pumps which will significantly reduce the centre’s overall energy demand.

The new centre will be a modern, fit-for-purpose replacement of the current venue that places the community’s needs at the front and centre. We have worked closely with the centre’s leadership team and other key community stakeholders to provide a design that celebrates the nearby natural surroundings while creating a sense of place and having a positive impact on future users.

The brief for the replacement building has been developed alongside the centre staff to create a high quality facility for the local area that will allow the creation of a safe and welcoming environment for both children and adults participating in activities, as well as members of the surrounding community.

Initially HLM were appointed by Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) in June 2019 to undertake a study to define the brief for a new centre and assess options for replacing the existing Dinton Activity Centre. The conclusion supported by business case input from WBC, was for a new centre that not only replaces existing accommodation but enhance its presence and offering to the public.

HLM worked closely with all project stakeholders producing a thorough analysis to assess the existing centres day to day operation and spaces as well as understanding the required accommodation from all the different users of the centre – both existing and prospective and this produced a well-defined brief – that everyone could buy into.


Key achievements:

  • First operationally Net Zero Carbon building within Wokingham Borough Council’s portfolio.

  • Dinton challenges the perception that 3d volumetric modular offsite construction is limited to boxy, rectilinear forms of architecture.

  • Close collaboration between Architect, Client (WBC), and modular contractor being used as a case study of successful project delivery of an MMC, NZCop building for a local authority.


Client: Wokingham Borough Council

Project Partners: HLM Architects, Reds10, Delap & Waller, RCDC, Design ID, Apteriors, Faithful+Gould


Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 Ceremony on Thurs 30th June 2022.


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About the Modern Methods of Construction :

This Award Category considers a number of factors that are convening to make offsite construction a more attractive solution than ever before and help address systemic failures including low productivity, low predictability, low margins, adversarial pricing, lack of culture for collaboration, limited R&D and investment in innovation and poor image.  More info.

>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards finalists here

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