Birmingham-based Stoford Developments has signed a ground-breaking deal to develop and build what is claimed will be one of the UK’s most eco-friendly office premises for Severn Trent Water in Coventry.
A development agreement has been exchanged with the utility giant to create a new £60 million operations centre that will provide Severn Trent Water with 170,000 sq ft of office space.
Designed for low-energy and low-carbon consumption, the building has achieved an industry leading ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating for its environmental and sustainable features and aspires to a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating when the criteria for this are published next month,
Scheduled for completion in autumn 2010, the new seven-storey operations centre is being built to house 1,700 staff in the city’s St John’s Street with the support of Coventry City Council and regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.
Stoford has worked with Birmingham-based Associated Architects, Webb Gray Architects, and engineering services consultants ESC to design a building that meets top BREEAM standards not only for its energy use but also for its location in terms of the local infrastructure and impact on the environment.
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 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.
Mike McKeon, Severn Trent Water finance director, said: “The new Severn Trent Centre has two central objectives - to provide an excellent example of sustainable ecological development at an affordable through-life cost, and be a great place for our employees to work.
“Our customers, employees and other stakeholders would expect no less, and we are delighted to be working with Stoford Developments and their partners on this ambitious project. We look forward to working together to deliver a building that meets the highest standards of quality, cost and sustainable development.”
Coun Ken Taylor, leader of Coventry City Council, said: “We are delighted that Severn Trent Water has decided to move to Coventry city centre and things are moving very quickly on what will be an impressive and sustainable building in the heart of our city.”
He added: “Over the next ten to 15 years, the city centre will be transformed and this new development will help us to set a high standard of design and build for others to match.”
David Brown, Stoford Director, also said: “This development, made possible through the superb support of the architects, other professionals and Coventry City Council, will produce not just an iconic building but also a flagship for the environmental design of future office premises, generating interest not only from the region but also nationally.
“It will provide a stunning example of how to minimise the impact of a building on the environment and for its occupants and visitors to participate in saving energy.”