Wessex Water, Bath

When it was completed is was the most energy efficient and sustainable building in the country with the highest BREEAM rating at that time for a commercial office building.

The Project

The client, Bennetts Associates Architects and Buro Happold Consulting Engineers created the most energy efficient and sustainable building in the country with the highest BREEAM rating at that time for a commercial office building. In environmental terms the project was acclaimed by the Building Research Establishment as the ‘greenest’ commercial building in the UK. It stands as an exemplary example of energy efficiency, low embodied energy, recycling including aggregate for the concrete structure and recycled storm and grey water and enhanced biodiversity. 


Building Control

Oculus were pleased to have been part of the team involved with this ground breaking project. Part L Conservation of fuel and power was well exceeded with the team’s sustainable approach. The ‘E’ shaped plan comprised of three stepped wings which hugged the contours of the sloping site. The open plan interior linked by a central ‘street’ created a dynamic space. The exterior made use of different materials including Bath stone. The building was naturally ventilated which greatly reduced its energy consumption with it not requiring air-conditioning.

The building was multi-award winning.


CASE STUDY
Airbus - AWIC

The new £40m Aircraft Wing Integration Centre is arranged to maximise opportunities for departments to share spaces, equipment and ideas and will provide an innovative, highly flexible and easily adaptable physical test environment that forms a proving ground for the future technologies. This includes Airbus’ Wings of tomorrow programme, part of which focuses on exploring how wings can be more efficient, lighter and easier to make and assemble, looking at the best materials to use, assembly techniques and new technologies in aerodynamics and wing architecture. Covering 9,050m2 the scheme comprises hangar facilities including a 'Strong Floor' and relocatable ‘Strong Wall’, a high capacity hydraulic system to power multiple test rigs, three overhead cranes, laboratories, testing control rooms and open plan offices. As this facility is to be used to develop new technologies it was clearly important to build in flexibility for future uses. The delivery team was involved through this period and translated the design development into physical form with the same mind-set.

The ‘Strong Floor’ itself is 40 metres long by 18 metres wide and is housed within a building over 25 metres tall to allow the testing of full size wings from the largest Airbus aircraft including long term fatigue testing. A total of 1,440 cubic metres of concrete was used for the floor which took some 23 hours to cast to a total depth of two metres. The steel reinforcement amounted to a total of approximately 280 tonnes of rebar, estimated to be around 54 km laid end-to-end.

The 'Strong Wall' is 14 metres long, 10 metres high, 4.5 metres deep and has a total weight of 220 tonnes. It is made up of four modules and can be configured in two separate two module walls or a single four module wall. The mounting surfaces are machined to a close tolerance and when erected on the strong floor all points on the flange faces are within +/-1mm of a flat vertical plane. The structure is designed to cope with billions of load cycles so resistance to fatigue is the determining factor as well as its immense strength.

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CASE STUDY
Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield is a spectacular Victorian Gothic Revival house with gardens, parkland and much more.  It had been the house of the Gibbs family for over 150 years. As the house was inherited by each generation of the Gibbs family, they stamped their own identity on the house and estate with different developments. The 14th June 2002 marked a new beginning for the house and estate when the National Trust announced their new acquisition.  The house was in need of extensive renovation and The National Trust set about re-roofing, re-wiring and re-plumbing the main house and generally improving access for visitor experience. 

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CASE STUDY
Queen Mary University of London

Part of the School of Humanities, the 5-storey building contains a large auditorium, studios, teaching and administration facilities designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects Limited for Queen Mary’s University of London at its Mile End Campus. The new film and drama studio is clad in distinctive glass panels – digitally printed with artwork by the artist Jacqueline Poncelet.  QMUL is highly ranked amongst UK universities for the provision of arts and humanities courses.

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