Colchester companies work together on prestigious WWF project


Tri Fans - Left to Right: Jason Taylor, Simon Lee, Matt Davey, Jo Oakley, Helen Gilfillan 

Fläkt Woods has utilised the skills of Colchester-based company A Smith Gt Bentley Ltd (ASGB) for the construction of four bespoke wind cowls, which are set to be installed at the new WWF Living Planet Centre in Woking, Surrey. The new building will be a showcase for green building design and open later in 2013.


Specialist engineers ASGB were able to assemble the complex, 4.2m high wind cowls, while ensuring the finished products complied with the strict design criteria specified by the architect. 


Commenting on the successful collaboration, Allan Hurdle, Managing Director at Fläkt Woods, said “ASGB’s facilities and staff are set up perfectly to handle a project of this type and its meticulous requirements. They’ve proved to be a great asset to us and have produced a finish that we; and the client; are really impressed with.


“Having a company on your doorstep with so much experience and expertise in specialist engineering has been a huge benefit. So much so, we’re looking forward to working with the team at ASGB on future ventures and continuing to support the local economy.”


Simon Hare, Managing Director at ASGB, was also pleased with the outcome and the new business opportunities arising from the joint venture. He said: “Although these wind cowls aren’t the usual type of products we work on, we knew we would be able to harness our engineers’ skills to fulfil the brief from Fläkt Woods. 


“Much of our work is bespoke to our clients, so the challenge of working on this job was one we relished. And it’s great to be working with a fellow Colchester-based company, with strong roots in the local area.”


The four wind cowls have been designed and installed by Fläkt Woods to form part of the WWF building’s natural ventilation system, providing fresh air to 3,600m2 of floor area. The wind cowls are positioned on the 80m long curved timber grid shell – which spans 837.5m – and rotate on specially designed bearings.

The WWF Living Planet Centre has regenerated a ‘brownfie  ld’ site with a design sympathetic to its natural surroundings, while also meeting the highest sustainability standards. WWF-UK is committed to constructing a building that exemplifies how the needs of a modern workplace can be met with the least impact on the planet.


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