Construction work has officially started on a £60 million scheme to build Severn Trent Water’s new head office in Coventry.
Representatives from the utilities company together with developer Stoford, Coventry City Council and Advantage West Midlands, gathered at the site in St John’s Street on Friday for the traditional sod-cutting ceremony.
The landmark seven-storey scheme, which will accommodate 1,700 people, is scheduled for completion in 2010.
Birmingham-based Stoford has worked in conjunction with Associated Architects, Webb Gray Architects and engineering consultants ESC to create a building that is one of the most eco-friendly office developments anywhere in the country.
The building has already achieved an industry leading ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating for environmental and sustainable features and aims to set new industry standards by achieving one of the lowest carbon footprints for an office building in the UK.
Designed as an ‘environmental moderator’, the building envelope will protect its occupants from the effects of extreme weather conditions and pollution by incorporating the latest sustainable design criteria and technologies.
The concrete structure will provide thermal mass against warmer temperatures, while high performance glass windows, a ‘brise soleil’ window shade and motorised ‘louvres’ that follow the path of the sun will prevent excessive solar gain while allowing in more daylight.
The offices will be ventilated by a central air handling plant, removing the need for a high-energy consuming air conditioning system, while an electronic power management system will power the ventilation, lighting and heating, reducing dependency on mains electricity.
The building will also benefit from its central city location and Stoford says that the ecology will also be improved with a surrounding landscaped public space.
Severn Trent Water will also be using the offices as a showcase for future water system design by metering the building to minimise water use.