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AHMM wins approval for new BRE hub building

AHMM's approved Open Innovation Hub at BRE Watford

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has received the green light to create a collaborative working facility at the Building Research Establishment’s Hertfordshire campus.

St Albans Council granted planning consent for the Top 10 AJ100 practice’s Open Innovation Hub at the home of the built environment science body near Watford.

The facility will provide desk and discussion spaces for big and small firms alike to develop new technologies and processes for the construction industry.

Part-funded by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the scheme has also attracted private investment.

A document produced by the LEP said the scheme would replace a 1960s block with 3,100m2 of ‘high quality incubation and SME acceleration space’.

The project aimed to create 150 high value jobs and attract 25 new companies to the county’s defined Enterprise Zone, it added.

‘The building itself will represent the values of BRE in driving quality, innovation and performance in the built environment,’ said the LEP document. ‘Many leading architects and engineers have shown an interest in being involved in the project and as such it will be an iconic building within the Enterprise Zone.’

AHMM said in a statement that daylight and thermal comfort had been central to the design of the building.

‘Reflecting the BRE’s mission, the hub’s design will represent a partnership between architecture and engineering, and demonstrate the BRE’s own standards and tools – fittingly, it will be the first building in the world to target BREEAM Outstanding accreditation using the updated and more stringent New Construction 2018 assessment.’

The BRE has been contacted for comment.

AHMM's approved Open Innovation Hub at BRE Watford

Inside AHMM’s approved Open Innovation Hub at BRE Watford

Inside AHMM’s approved Open Innovation Hub at BRE Watford

Project data

Type of project Office
Client BRE
Architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Planning consultant Philip Moren
Structural engineer AKT II
M&E consultant Max Fordham
Quantity surveyor Jackson Coles



Readers' comments (2)

  • Interesting that the list of consultants doesn't mention sustainability? Given the buildings credentials, I would have thought that was worth a mention?

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  • In the shadow of Grenfell Tower the hope must be that this new facility will help BRE to encourage greater understanding of how to avoid disastrous pitfalls in building design and construction.

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