A 1,000 seat auditorium in Guildford built by Willmott Dixon has been awarded a BREEAM “excellent” rating, the second highest environmental rating available to a project.

The £26m entertainment venue, which was designed by architects Austin-Smith:Lord, was certified “excellent” by Scott Wilson, who were design consultants to the project. The Guildford civic auditorium will use natural ventilation and a biomass boiler.

The building achieved a score of 74%, beating the BREEAM “excellent” threshold of 70%. The new venue also scored 90% of the available credits for management and water, and 96.5% for energy and transport.

Mark Tant, managing director at Willmott Dixon Construction, said: “We aim to achieve high BREEAM ratings on all of our projects and set ourselves tough targets with regards to sustainability such as diverting 100% of waste from landfill by 2012 (this project is currently diverting 98.3% of its waste). The BREEAM score achieved by this project is a credit to all those who have worked on it to ensure that it really is an asset to its surrounding environment.”

Norman King, a director at Austin-Smith:Lord, said: “The design team has worked closely with Willmott Dixon and with Guildford council to achieve this “excellent” BREEAM rating using the most economical and low-maintenance options. We have successfully avoided expensive bolt-on features and used natural ventilation, improved insulation with increased air tightness, careful selection of materials and provided a biomass boiler to assist in achieving our objective.”

Work on the building started in August 2009 and the facility is due to open in autumn next year.