The Brief: Staffordshire County Council’s estate was in disrepair and was spread over a great many unconnected buildings. To introduce new working practices and deliver greater efficiency, they required entirely new facilities. The design team was challenged was to create a building which embodied all the facilities of a modern office, but which emitted low levels of carbon and utilised renewable energy systems, to reflect SCC’s responsibility as a Local Authority. The result was Staffordshire Place. Comprising two buildings and totalling over 12,000 m² of office accommodation and 1,100 m² of retail space, ‘SP’ provides large open plan space, good views out into the surrounding areas and a whole new working environment for over 1,200 staff.
The Engineering Difference: As a Local Authority, SCC needed to lead the way to reduce carbon emissions and provide high standards of energy efficiency. The building achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification and an EPC of ‘A’. We set the brief for the engineering services and developed the concepts and designs to deliver SCC’s detailed requirements. We undertook comprehensive thermal modelling exercises to make the building envelope work hard to passively manage the internal environment.
We were then able to advise the design team on the optimum envelope design. Using a concrete frame, with exposed concrete soffits in the offices, the building itself evens out the fluctuations in external temperatures. High performance glazing on the south and west elevations minimises solar gain and fixed solar shades on the west elevation minimise heat gains, whilst keeping light into the building.
The building also features a floor supply upflow ventilation system, with high proportions of fresh air used for ‘free cooling’. The lighting is switched in response to daylight levels and with presence detection, to minimise use of electricity. SCC already utilises biomass heating in some of its buildings using its own timber resources from Cannock Chase, so a biomass boiler to serve both buildings was chosen. The buildings also utilise solar thermal collectors and rainwater harvesting to reduce demand on mains services.
Solar thermal panels on the roof complete the renewable energy systems on the building, which achieved an EPC of a ‘A’ and a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.
- Engineered building envelope
- Heat recovery ventilation
- Zero carbon heating
- EPC of ‘A’
- BREEAM Excellent
- Intrinsically Sustainable
- LZC technologies incorporated
Value: £35m approx
Duties: ACE Schedule of Services Performance Duties RIBA stages A to L.