Old mill buildings can offer fascinating potential for restoration and repurposing, but as by nature they are located near water sources, they can be at risk from flooding. This was the dilemma faced by the Green Hill Outreach Trust, a Christian charity that runs a community and conference programme from the Burmington Mill, an 18th century former flour mill.
In July 2007 the worst floods in the Shipston on Stour area of Warwickshire in over one hundred years washed seven feet of muddy water into the ground floor, destroying the fixtures and fittings and resulting in a major insurance claim.
The Green Hill Outreach Trust based in Burmington Mill is in a flood risk area. The ground floor has been renovated in order to be 'water-friendly' and features de-mountable wall panels made from DuPont™ Corian®.
While the claim was fully settled by the insurance company, the risk factors meant that costs were bound to escalate and the centre was faced with two choices: A doubled premium with an excess of £22,000 ’“ or renovations to make the interior of the ground floor more ’˜water-friendly' and therefore not requiring cover against flooding.
Challenges included the uneven walls of the old building and the fact that the panels would have to sit above non load-bearing plinth heaters (which can simply be hosed down and dried out after a flood), so would need to be both de-mountable and fully supported by the wall structure. Furthermore, the renovation design for the ground floor, including a new refectory, kitchen, chapel and main foyer (159 square metres in all), incorporated some curving stud walls and decorative features which would require individual customisation.
The colour chosen for this application was Mojave, a subtle neutral tone from a carefully developed and exclusive palette for DuPont™ Corian® of over eighty choices, and the material has also been used to create bespoke furniture features in the Mojave and Medea colours, as well as seamlessly integrated worksurfaces and sinks for the refectory kitchen.
Fran Wilson continues, ‘We are absolutely thrilled with the choice of DuPont™ Corian® for our ’˜water-friendly' renovation. This design is not only highly practical, but also has resulted in a quiet, minimalistic elegance, which is a delight to the team and all our visitors. We are very peaceful about the possibility of any future floods, knowing that our key fixtures, fittings and equipment ’“ including cookers and fridges on wheels - are easily movable, and that as soon as any flood water abates, we can dry out and get back to normal as soon as possible, with minimal costs for restoration. We would very strongly recommend this use of DuPont™ Corian® to any business in a flood area, it really is a fantastic solution.’