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Roche: UK headquarters, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

The UK headquarters of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, were designed by BDP before sustainability became an industry mantra

BDP specified a building energy management system (BEMS) that records and monitors fuel and electricity consumption online, making energy use in the building completely transparent.

Both architect and client can log on to a website to view ‘live’ data from the BREEAM Excellent-rated offices. The BEMS system automatically adjusts the building’s operation to channel heat into boreholes or directly outside, depending on external temperature. It also detects the ‘pivot point’ at which the aquifer, the underground layer of water, is saturated.

The energy data has been used by BDP to inform future design work. The practice developed its own environmental performance software, Concept Information Modelling, to study massing, orientation, daylight, shading and ventilation during the design process.

It is currently being used on BDP’s design for B&Q’s headquarters near Southampton.

  • Architect BDP

  • Location Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

  • Employees 1400

  • Completed 2005

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