Boho One
DigitalCity Business is a regeneration project core funded by One North East (Regional Development Agency) and is managed within Middlesbrough Council by a dedicated team. Grounded on the University’s expertise and reputation in digital media and technology, DigitalCity’s objective is to create a vibrant, self-sustaining, successful and beneficial supercluster in the Tees Valley based on digital media and technologies. DigitalCity wants to create a platform for digital business that matches the nature and ambition of the companies that will live in it. A ‘campus’ or ‘community’ in the building needs flexible space to respond to expanding and contracting workforces, needs to share the best possible presentation spaces and resources and needs a design solution that responds to the opportunities afforded by the proximity of start up, accelerating and established businesses to one another. DigitalCity is keen that secondary workspace (meeting rooms, kitchens, etc) are provided communally so that the costs are shared and occupants are encouraged out of the primary workspace into ‘social’ situations. The site on Bridge Street West and Albert Street was, until 2006, Council housing land. The housing was in poor condition and the area had for some time attracted anti social behaviour. Demolition cleared the way for a new start in the area. A steel structure is infilled with an insulated metal stud inner leaf with building board and breather membrane externally to form the airtight line of construction. At ground floor the frame is clad with blue engineering brick, above three discreet towers are clad with black riven face ceramic tile, red Trespa panel and pre weathered zinc planks. The accommodation is a series of office spaces ranging from approximately 36sqm to 170sqm over four storeys. This variety of size gives the building a distinct feeling as no two floor plates are the same. The three towers each have a vertical circulation core at one end but these are staggered and connected to the opposite end of the adjacent block by an external bridge that acts in everyday use as a circulation link at upper levels of the building and during a fire as secondary egress from one tower to the adjacent stair core. Despite the obvious possibilities the building is treated as one compartment and is planned to give simultaneous evacuation. This is an unusual way of treating fire escapes but brings the building to life during normal occupation as a visual and physical connection around the building. Networking pods ‘hang’ on the end of these bridges. The ground floor has two strips of office accommodation running perpendicular to towers over providing a ‘concourse’ down the centre of the building. This acts as a meeting place, reception and network space and has a series of meeting rooms and recesses off it to encourage serendipitous knowledge and business practice sharing. This concourse is lit by two large rooflights that break onto the first floor roof terraces allowed by the reorientation of the towers above. The approach the Design Team adopted to Sustainability was to follow three sequential stages to the design reducing the need to call on energy sources. (i)Firstly, maximise use of natural light for working. Using large windows with head against ceiling, a generous number of openings and narrow floor plates. Exposed concrete soffits and raised floors to promote thermal mass storage and heat reuse. (ii)Secondly, when light levels fall or temperatures become too low or high, use energy efficient fittings and installations to control and modify environments. The building was expected to have long occupancy hours meaning significant year round use of heating/cooling cycles and evening and nightime lighting regimes. (iii)Thirdly, to consider producing energy required by renewable and on site technologies. This approach has meant •‘Tall in wall’ glazing gives a Daylight Factor of 5% meaning lights could remain switched off for around 80% of the annual occupied hours. •Southerly elevations have solar shading (front elevation sliding sections of mesh, two inner elevations fold out canopies). •Exposed concrete surfaces act as thermal mass storage. •The building is naturally ventilated. Opening windows have actuators for instructed use with over ride for occupier comfort. •The roof has a section of sedum growing to provide insulating properties and attenuate water runoff from flat roof areas. •All light fittings are compact fluorescent or other low energy lamp. In the offices light rafts are used to provide a level of sound attenuation. •Design temperatures for heating and cooling take account of the likely output of the computer hardware in the building that until IT systems get leaner and greener produce a significant amount of waste heat that can be recycled to supplement heat load. •A Building Management System operates all these systems to optimum effect. •Renewables as below. Submitted for BREEAM Assessment under Offices 2006 criteria and was deemed ‘Excellent’ scoring 72.57%. The EPC returned a B score of 39. The Boho One project includes two areas of renewable energy that will significantly reduce the building’s consumption. (i)Two 100m boreholes drilled at each end of the site provide a closed loop ground water source for space heating/cooling through a heat pump and feed to fancoil units running in the raised access floor void throughout all offices. The concourse concrete has underfloor heating. The pump is titanium for longevity and reversible to allow flushing of the system for lime deposits. Borehole water is used for irrigation to planting at ground and on roof terraces, storage tank is at head of lift, also used for flushing wcs and cleaning purposes. (ii)Three vertical axis wind turbines (Ropatec) each providing 6kw at peak use and operate on a damped brake to allow smooth running.


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Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via
  • added a digital reference
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