WORCESTER’S most iconic building has won another top award – with critics describing the Hive as “truly impressive”.

The £60 million golden-roofed library has scooped Sustainable Project of the Year in the Building Awards 2013, fighting off stiff competition from seven other contenders to land the accolade after judges said they were bowled over by its green credentials.

A judging panel praised its design, which is based on allowing as much sunlight into the building as possible.

They were also impressed by the gold-clad cones which contain glazed rooflights and vertical glazing, as well as the low energy lighting. The use of the river Severn for water chillers and a rainwater tank, that collects water dripping off the roof to flush the toilets were also factors in the award.

Councillor David Thain, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for change, said: “We are truly delighted by this.

“We have always believed the Hive is a great, innovative building at the forefront of new technology and new ways of working. To have that recognised yet again is really gratifying.”

It beat the likes of Tata Steel’s complex in Port Talbot and Oakfield Primary School in Rugby – sites which are among the most advanced in the UK for being energy efficient.

Professor David Green, University of Worcester vice-chancellor, said: “The Hive is proving to be a huge success. “Book borrowing has doubled, membership of the public library has increased six-fold, and University of Worcester students now benefit from the best ever study and library facilities in the university’s history.

“We have been awarded first class honours in the UK Universities Green League for Environmental Sustainability for the past four years running. “Many members of staff work on important sustainability projects – aiming, for example, to improve river management. “We are delighted that the Hive has won such a prestigious and well-deserved national environmental award.” The Hive, the country’s first joint public and university library, opened in July 2012 as a partnership between the university and the county council.

In February it won Best New Building Project of the Year in the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) awards.