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PROJECT REPORT: COMMERCIAL & WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENTS


29


© Kier Construction


design team noticed that with some refining of the proposal, more ambitious sustainability credentials could be within reach. With this knowledge, ecological measures were meticulously woven into the final design, eventually making Bicester Eco Business Centre the first non-residential scheme in the UK to secure Passivhaus Plus standard. BREEAM Excellent was also achieved for the scheme. For example, to minimise energy consumption in use, the balconies create the additional roof area required to maximise solar photovoltaic panel coverage, as well as providing a canopy over the entrance and forming one of the two fire escape routes from the building. District heating supplied by nearby council amenities supplies all the hot water and heating requirements, triple glazing throughout locks in warmth and prevents outside noise from penetrating the office, and where steel components connect to the concrete frame, the architects have inserted thermal breaks.


“They wanted as much natural material as possible,” explains Hayes. In response,


ADF MAY 2019


the architects specified softwood battened acoustic ceilings, rubber flooring, and entrance matting made from recycled truck tyres. The carefully selected materials reduce the building’s embodied carbon but also improve internal air quality. Where possible natural finishes were used, such as an Osmo finish on the waffle- textured ceiling.


Compared to the original plans that Architype received at the outset, the overall mass of the business centre has been slightly reduced, leaving more surface area on the plot for landscaping with low-carbon materials. Rainwater harvesting to provide the scheme’s greywater has also been integrated in the car park. With all this considered, the Bicester Eco Business Centre doesn’t just assist the overall eco-town programme in lowering its environmental impact in practice and increasing the number of jobs in the region. Its very purpose of hosting new local SMEs should translate into a heightened perception for environmental concerns, among the individuals and businesses that occupy it. 


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BRIGHT IDEAS Triple glazing plus a central rooflight combine a bring working environment with high thermal performance


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