Sustainable Structures – One Angel Square, Manchester

Sustainable Structures – One Angel Square, Manchester

15th November 2018

Here at Safety Fabrications we keep a close eye on news and current trends that affect the construction industry.  We already have a series in which we publish news on innovative buildings and construction techniques (all of our articles under the Innovation Stations banner), so we’ve decided to do a similar series on sustainable buildings.  Sustainable buildings are on the increase, both in the UK and overseas as governments across the globe adjust their construction rules and regulations in order to meet the requirements of the 21st Century.  One of the most vital requirements is for buildings to be sustainable in order to reduce the collateral environmental effects as we strive to find cleaner, greener ways of living on this planet.

Today we’re going to take a look at One Angel Square in Manchester, which is the head office of the Cooperative Group.  Construction work began in 2010 and the building was completed and ready for action in February, 2013.  The 72.5 metre (237 ft.) building is the centrepiece of a new £800 million development in the Angel Meadows area of Manchester and is one of Europe’s most sustainable buildings. 

One Manchester Square was built in accordance with BREEAM’s ‘Outstanding’ rating, the highest standard of an individual building’s performance, “Less than top 1% of UK ne3w non-domestic buildings (innovator), putting the building at the top of the tree when it comes to sustainability and best practice.  The building is powered by a biodiesel cogeneration plant which uses rapeseed oil to provide electricity and heat.  Cogeneration (combined heat and power or CHP) describes using a heat engine to generate electricity and useful heat at the same time. 

This innovative buildings makes use of natural resources, maximising passive solar gain (absorbing the heat of the sun) for heating and uses natural ventilation through a double skin façade.  The building harvests rainwater, recycles grey water and waste heat and features an adiabatic cooling system, making the building the only commercial building here in the UK to achieve maximum ratings in energy and sustainability performance by the three main rating systems.  The building has won numerous awards, including:

  • Considerate Constructors Scheme Gold - 2011
  • Builder & Engineer Awards 2011 for:
    • Sustainable Project of the Year
    • Architect of the Year (3DReid)
  • Green Apple Bronze Award 2012
  • Property Week Award – Sustainable Achievement Award 2012
  • BREEAM 2013  - Best Office Building
  • RICS Awards 2013 for:
    • Design and Innovation
    • Overall Project of the Year
  • BCO Awards 2013 for:
    • North West Region (joint winner)
    • Corporate Workplace (winner)
  • Manchester Society of Architects Award 2013

The building’s distinctive shape has been likened to a “sliced egg” – seemingly a diagonal slice with a nine storey high atrium featuring a glass roof tilted towards the south to maximise daylight and passive solar gain.  The three internal concrete cores of the building form an equilateral triangle ad the interior of the building consists of open plan space that can accommodate up to 4,000 staff.  The building is so green that employees are encourage to use public transport or cycle to work, leaving their bikes in one of the 105 available cycle stands.

The main material for the building is steel and the exterior has a double skin façade which enables greater control of the natural heating and ventilation of the structure.  The exterior aluminium which holds the glass panels in place was anodised in bronze, causing the building to shimmer in the sun. 

We’ll be bringing you more news on some of the most impressive sustainable structures in the world in the coming months, so why not follow us on Facebook or Twitter to make sure you stay fully up to date with clean, green construction projects.