Sustainable Kettering office hoping to score national award win

Our ecologically sustainable Kettering office, which has been certified as carbon neutral as well as gaining Passivhaus status – a rare achievement in the UK – has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award.

Located on the Kettering north Business Park, our headquarters has been nominated for the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Performance Awards 2019 in the commercial/industrial project of the year category.

The awards, now in its 12th year, recognises buildings that demonstrate high levels of user satisfaction and comfort while delivering outstanding measured building performance, energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.

Our director David White said: “We are delighted that our Kettering office has been shortlisted for such a respected and significant award. Our office is one of just a handful of buildings in the UK to be recognised as both carbon neutral as well as achieving Passivhaus status.

“From the start, it was our mission to build a high quality and highly sustainable office space to accommodate our growing workforce. It was a monumental project for the company – we designed it ourselves from scratch, which was an enormous task and, with our own staff ultimately acting as the client, it was crucial to get it right.

“Now completed, the office has revolutionised the business, boosted staff morale and motivation and stands as an energy efficient trailblazer.”

A combination of high-performance glazing, insulation and an airtight building envelope – which regulates the office’s internal temperature without relying on artificial heating or cooling – contributed towards the office’s Passivhaus status. It is one only 10 commercial buildings in the country to have achieved this, according to the Passivhaus Trust.

For buildings to achieve Passivhaus status they must have the highest levels of insulation with minimal thermal bridges, utilise passive solar gains and internal heat sources, excellent level of airtightness and good indoor air quality. Carbon neutral buildings achieve a zero-carbon footprint.

The custom-built building also has an EPC rating of A+, LED lighting, triple glazed windows and 120 sq. m. of solar PV panels on the roof, alongside stand-up desks, a pool table and bat boxes to accommodate local wildlife.

Hywel Davies, technical director of CIBSE, who chaired the judging, said: “All those on the shortlist have demonstrated a significant contribution and commitment to achieving improved building performance, either as individuals or as part of a team, which has resulted in clear and measurable reduction of energy consumption and carbon emissions.”

Our 30 Northamptonshire-based employees moved to the new office from their former home in Corby at the start of 2017. The land deal was completed by Gilbert Harvey at Budworth Hardcastle, with the main contractor on the project being Aragon Homes Ltd. The building was designed by Leicestershire-based Leaf Architecture, with interiors by Faber Design.

The winners will be announced at a special awards dinner taking place on 12 February 2019 at the Grosvenor House in London. For more information about the scheme please visit our case study page.