CORPORATE WORKPLACE

 

NATIONAL WINNER / REGIONAL WINNER (NORTH OF ENGLAND, NORTH WALES & NORTHERN IRELAND)

GRAHAM NEW HQ BUILDING, BALLYGOWAN ROAD, HILLSBOROUGH

This building is a new headquarters, built by a construction company, for a construction company. The privately owned Northern Ireland based contractor GRAHAM was clearly intent on using this project as a showcase for its skills and to emphasise its commitment to a sustainable agenda. Its success in achieving these aspirations was demonstrated by the building standing out in a strong category.

As effectively their own client, GRAHAM demonstrated clear intent and provided great leadership to deliver this excellently finished product and has carried this through into the on-going occupation and management. The contractor demonstrated confidence and courage to develop a building of this quality in these market conditions – it was also a brave move to locate a new building such as this on the company’sown historic builders yard, in the countryside. This gave them the opportunity to fully exploit the site to boost green credentials by providing cycle storage, showers, car clubs and more.

The simplicity of the building’s arrangement belies its sophistication, both in terms of its concept and its realisation; it provides very generous and comfortable occupant space with a fully flexible open plan environment with breakout areas and touchdown points linked to reprographic and refreshment facilities which encourages interaction between employees and provides the opportunity for informal, unplanned meetings and conversations.

The integrated finishes and quality of workmanship demonstrates the effectiveness of the client’s supply chain and is evidence of the close working relationship between the design and procurement team.

The building is regarded by many as one of Northern Ireland’s most sustainable workplaces. The levels of comfort delivered by the advanced hybrid natural ventilation system combined with exposed concrete ceilings makes the building a case study for anybody who doubts the ability of naturally ventilated office buildings to produce a quality internal environment. 

The national judges noted the increasing importance of sustainability as fundamental to the design of corporate workspaces with two real audiences in mind – the staff and as a demonstration to customers of the organisation’s ethos and commitment. GRAHAM’s new HQ is a prime example of this. 

 

REGIONAL WINNERS

SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND, THAMES VALLEY & SOUTH WALES

KESTREL HOUSE, HR WALLINGFORD, HOWBERY PARK, CROWMARSH, WALLINGFORD

HR Wallingford solves complex problems relating to hydrology and the environment; its new headquarters on the 76-acre Howbery Park, on the banks of the River Thames in South Oxfordshire, presented an opportunity to move the business forward and demonstrate its prowess in its field. 

HR Wallingford wanted to showcase its expertise; demonstrate sensitivity to the environment and to enhance business efficiency by accommodating all staff in a single, contemporary, flexible workspace. The new HQ acts as a as an integral part of HR Wallingford’s master plan to develop an environmentally focussed, high technology business park.

The judges felt that the project was exemplar in the way that it met its multi-faceted brief.  The environmental credentials are highly evident with a dedicated borehole on site providing cooling for the building, through a mixed mode system with displacement ventilation and chilled beams; occupier control over windows to moderate internal temperature; solar water heating; rainwater harvesting; and a BREEAM “Excellent” rating.

In terms of its external design, Kestrel House, with its sister building Red Kite House, forms an impressive gateway to the Park, which will appeal to potential occupiers as the demand for space grows. The accommodation was a progression for staff, having relocated from several, older, fixed layout buildings to a single, flexible building. 

Ultimately HR Wallingford delivered its new headquarters at a cost which offered exceptional value for money. It also managed to deliver a high quality building, which offers the prospect of better than average costs-in-use over time.

 

LONDON & THE SOUTH EAST

KPMG PROJECT GOLD, 15 CANADA SQUARE, LONDON

15 Canada Square is the culmination of five years of planning and development for KPMG’s Project Gold, to consolidate its London staff into two locations. The consultant’s BREEAM “Excellent” rated new purpose-built headquarters building, comprising 40,000m² of office space in Canary Wharf, is now home to 4,000 staff.

Project Gold was established to replace disparate and deteriorating buildings with a property portfolio appropriate for the 21st century. The concept delivered this sustainable new flagship building in London’s Docklands to complement the existing principal building in Salisbury Square in the City of London.

15 Canada Square is fit for the future and offers an impressive environment that supports staff and also KPMG’s clients. Work flexibility is paramount - the 15-storey property has only 2,700 desk spaces to encourage ‘hot-desking.’  

As well as showcasing its business credentials, KPMG ensured the building displayed its much valued ecological concerns. The new building has allowed KPMG to achieve a 50% cut in carbon dioxide emissions; re-uses 1,100 workstations and 2,300 task chairs from its existing estate; reduces utilities consumption by 15%; provides 200 cycle spaces; increases heads to desk ratio from 1:1 to 1:1.4 and the  greywater’ recycling and the technology system has reduced water consumption by up to 40%.

Overall KPMG has worked with the Canary Wharf Group and the rest of the development team to deliver a building that is fit for purpose with a flexible, innovative work space that truly encapsulates the initial vision for the building in its development and operation.

 

SCOTLAND

INVERDEE HOUSE, BAXTER ST, TORRY, ABERDEEN

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA) new regional headquarters building, on Aberdeen’s waterfront, provides the public body with an eco-friendly building, which caters for the needs of the different make-up of its public sector occupiers, in one integrated building. 

SEPA brought together two other public organisations, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and put sustainability and energy conservation at the top of its agenda; the building achieving this with an ‘A’ EPC rating and BREEAM “Excellent”.

The offices are built on a site owned partially by SEPA, adjacent to its former Greyhope Street building, and necessitated a partial land swap with the Grampian Housing Association. This office development with the related housing association programme also breathes some needed new life into this area of the city.

Naturally ventilated, with an on-site wind turbine and solar thermal panels supplementing energy supply and rewarding SEPA with a £900 first year feed-in tariff. The grey zinc clad hull, which is peppered with irregular horizontal fenestration, sits serenely in its environs, allowing its occupiers a panorama over the mouth of Aberdeen harbour.

With communal space and circulation standards on the generous side, the office areas are designed with seamless flexibility between the three organisations. A central atrium collects light and creates an airy ambiance in an otherwise deep plan form, whilst passive stack ventilation delivers a natural ventilation strategy. With the frame design changed to steel and pre-cast during the contractor’s value engineering exercise, little in the simplicity of detailing was lost.

 

THE MIDLANDS & EAST ANGLIA

THE SEVERN TRENT CENTRE, 2 ST JOHN'S STREET, COVENTRY

Severn Trent Water’s new headquarters building, in the centre of Coventry, has been developed with flexibility and adaptability in mind and has assisted in a transformative change in the occupiers business. The 19,647m² BREEAM rated ”Excellent” offices house Severn Trent’s 1,700 staff. 

Birmingham based Stoford Development’s eco-friendly development extends to the location in terms of the local infrastructure and impact on the environment, with ease of access to all transport and amenities and an improvement to the surrounding environ. Severn Trent Water is also using the offices as a showcase for its future water system design by metering the building to minimise water use.

The design works well within its surrounding context and is ultimately a credit to the office market in Coventry.

 

THE MIDLANDS & EAST ANGLIA

THE WOODLAND TRUST, GRANTHAM

This new headquarters for The Woodland Trust has transformed the working environment for the 200 staff based there. The building, designed as an ascending spiral from landscape to building, has been constructed on a greenfield site a few hundred metres from the Trust’s previous HQ.

The building form encloses a woodland garden which serves as amenity and breakout space for the staff and an arrival space for visitors. All floors are connected to an internal “heart’’, comprising reception, breakout and refectory space, where the whole organisation can meet together in one space.

Respect for the natural environment and biodiversity enhancement is a core value of the
work of The Woodland Trust and this is reflected in its headquarters which is naturally ventilated, has excellent levels of daylight and has achieved an “Excellent” BREEAM rating.