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Project of the Year – Commercial/Industrial

Project of the Year – Commercial/Industrial

Project of the Year – Commercial/Industrial

Recognising and celebrating the new build or refurbishment of a commercial or industrial building that most effectively demonstrates high levels of user satisfaction and comfort while delivering outstanding measured building performance, energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions

WINNER: One Angel Square, Northampton – BDP

BDP was tasked with developing the £40m One Angel Square project as part of a strategic ‘invest to save’ programme for Northamptonshire County Council. 

Replacing 12 dated and inefficient offices that were expensive to operate and maintain, the new building was designed to provide £50m of savings over the next 30 years.

BDP undertook detailed modelling to develop robust operational cost estimates that supported the business case, using the CIBSE TM54 guidance on operational energy use. 

The brief required a BREEAM Excellent rating, but more fundamental was the requirement for a low-energy building that was efficient to operate and delivered substantial running cost savings. A sense of well-being for staff and visitors was also crucial and, as a result, the building provides a modern workspace that is flexible, efficient and encourages collaboration.

The building was designed to minimise energy use in operation, with thin client computing equipment and ultra-low energy task focused LED lighting with intelligent control to reduce electrical loads, which are in part met by supply from a 400m2 roof mounted PV array, further reducing energy costs.

It offers an abundance of natural light and good visual connectivity between the floors and across the quadrangle. The prefabricated façades are clad with vertical copper fins to control solar gains. The detail is informed by building physics analysis and inspired by the traditional leather cutting lines for hand-made shoes, for which Northamptonshire is still famous. 

A mixed-mode ventilation approach underpins the environmental strategy. Natural ventilation is used whenever possible, drawing air in through the automated ventilators that sit behind the louvres in the cladding, which then rises up through the central void spaces to exhaust through high-level openings in the streets and the four wind towers, that set the building as a local landmark. 

One Angel Square is neither groundbreaking nor game changing. The appeal of the project is that it demonstrates success through understatement and simplicity, the importance of which should not be underrated. A simpler building will better meet the need to reduce running costs by avoiding the need to keep complex components working. It adopts best practice passive design strategies and combines them through an approach to deliver a highly efficient and highly comfortable building. 

Project Team:

Architect: BDP
Interior designer: BDP/Consarc
Mechanical/electrical engineering contractor: Briggs + Forrester
Main contractor: Galliford Try
Facilities manager: NCC

Judges’ comments:

We thought that a good quality design has been delivered within a limited budget. It’s not groundbreaking, but life-cycle costing was used successfully to protect some of the elements when challenged, for example, task-focused LED lighting and mixed-mode ventilation. 

We liked the use of TM54 modelling to develop robust operational cost estimates and the maintaining of value as a key principle throughout a tight design and build project, defending engineering options in the design that would lead to better outcomes. 


Big Data Institute – Long and Partners
BSD’s Kettering office – Building Services Design (BSD)

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