£3m Aintree development will be ‘net zero’

A new £3m apartment complex will be built next to Aintree Racecourse with the developer claiming it will be a ‘net zero’ scheme. Tony McDonough reports

Dragonboard is building a £3m apartment complex next to Aintree Racecourse


Planners have given the go-ahead for a £3m apartment complex next to Aintree Racecourse with the developer claiming the scheme will be net zero carbon.

Wirral-based SDA Architecture secured planning consent from Sefton Council on behalf of Liverpool firm Dragonboard. It wants to use the 24-apartment scheme to showcase its ‘modern method of construction’ (MMC).

MMC is different from traditional building methods and focuses on off-site construction, where many of the components of a building are produced in a factory setting and then installed on-site later.

For the Aintree project Dragonboard Intelligent Panels, or DIPs, will be used. They are a type of structurally insulated panel which will be used to construct the building envelope, offering high thermal performance, lightweight structural strength, and time- and cost-saving benefits over traditional construction methods.

“The magnesium board that sandwiches the solid polyurethane core offers better fire-resistant qualities acquiring a four-hour fire test. Additionally, the panels offer water-resistant qualities and improved insulation.

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Work is due to start on the five-storey complex later this year and residents will enjoy views overlooking the parade ring at the world-famous course. Its cladding colours will be inspired by jockey silks from the 2020 Grand National.

Work will see the demolition of the existing two-storey building, currently operating as Aintree Tandoori, with a five-storey new-build comprising a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments situated above a secure under-croft residents’ car park.

Barrie Rea, director at SDA Architecture, said it was especially important during the design process to ensure the racecourse building and its cultural and heritage significance were not overshadowed in any way by the new development.

Designed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the architects were keen to create a series of high-quality all-weather amenity spaces for the residents. Amenity space will be provided through a combination of external walled and internal courtyard gardens.

Mr Rea said: “Throughout this process, we’ve been committed to ensuring that this development not only respects but enhances the local surroundings. Our designs reflect the rich history of Aintree and the Grand National and are also sympathetic to what is required of new apartment developments in the wake of COVID-19.

“We’re thrilled that our planning application was approved by Sefton Council, and look forward to the next steps as this hugely exciting project moves closer to reality.”

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