The Discovery Centre forms the visitor focal point for the National Forest. Responsibilities for the scheme from the initial concept ideas through funding, planning approvals, and tendering to construction of this 16million scheme. The project has received a Civic Trust Special Award (2003), “Celebrating Construction Award” and was named as East Midlands Development Agencys Regeneration Project of the Year.
Within the Discovery Centre are 5 main exhibition bays, filled with interactive exhibits, as well as ancillary facilities including a restaurant, shops and classrooms.
The building utilises an engineered timber frame, locally sourced stone walls and timber cladding. Displacement ventilation and ground source heat pumps for both heating and cooling together with simple passive shading, are incorporated into the sustainable building ensuring that it responds to its environment.