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In 1982 David Lloyd Jones, with rmjm, realised the mould-breaking nfu Mutual and Avon Head Office at Stratford upon Avon, which established many of the measures for environmentally sound, low-energy buildings employed today. The success of this building led to other low-energy office designs and associated research with clients like Lansdown Estate Group and government research departments. The Research Machines hq and the etsu-sponsored Passive Solar Design building, both initiated at rmjm, were completed by Studio E Architects (sea). sea was runner-up in the competition to build bre's Office of the Future. The hq and distribution centre for Marston Book Services at Milton Park was followed by the Solar Office at Doxford International. In Warsaw, sea proposed Poland's first bioclimatic office building - the Batory Foundation hq. Lloyd Jones's book Architecture and the Environment is published this July.


The Solar Office, for Akeler Developments plc, is the world's first speculative office development powered by building-integrated photovoltaics (pv), and its 700m2 solar facade is the largest of its kind. A £1.45 million grant, facilitated by sea on behalf of the client, covered the pv and aspects of low-energy design. The 4600m2 building was designed to satisfy the onerous brief and procurement time scale for commercial office development. The use of energy is minimised and the pv-generated electricity provides about one-third of the total electricity requirement. The building's energy target, when occupied by a tenant with conventional power requirements, is 85kWh/m2/yr. The 73kWp solar facade is expected to generate 55,100 kWh of electrical power per annum. Surplus electricity is sold to the National Grid. A two-year dti-sponsored monitoring programme, covering both pv and building performance, is under way. Real-time readings will be available on the www.

Structural engineer: Whitby Bird and Partners

Building services engineer: Rybka Battle

Masterplanner, co-ordinating and landscape architect: Aukett Associates


The project for Lansdown Estates Group comprised 900m2 of office space and a 4000m2 distribution centre. An independent assessment carried out by HGa found energy consumption after a year of occupation better than the target of 85 kWh/m2. A separate study carried out by Building User Studies recorded one of the highest ratings of occupancy satisfaction which the company had recorded. The mbs offices were the first to incorporate the Interactive Window System (iws) which was developed by a multi-skilled team led by sea, sponsored by brecsu and marketed by Colt International. iws forms a kit of parts that can be configured according to orientation, operation, budget and aesthetic choice and is intended specifically for low-energy office and institutional buildings.

Building services engineer: svm Structural engineer, qs and construction management: Glanville Associates

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