City council workers are cool – official

By on 24/06/2009 in News


Birmingham City Council’s contract to refurbish 1 Lancaster Circus, one of the authority’s major office buildings, has become the location for one of UK’s largest ever chilled beam installations.

Work commenced on the installation of the chilled beams and over the weekend of June 20-21 when an 80 tonne crane was in place to move the beams into building – no mean feat as there will be 179 on each floor.

The 1 Lancaster Circus project is being undertaken as part of the council’s Working for the Future programme, one of nine Business Transformation programmes being delivered in partnership with Service Birmingham. This programme is proposing to transform the council’s property portfolio to deliver efficient, flexible and fit for purpose workplaces.

The contract at Lancaster Circus has been procured through the Birmingham Construction Partnership and the main contractor Wates are using a number of local sub-contractors/suppliers to stimulate the local economy in these difficult times for the construction industry – with some 70 per cent working on the site being based in Birmingham.

The chilled beam installation is essential part of the design for the mechanical solution at the building and will both improve the working environment for employees, as well as providing a significant reduction in energy consumption.

The system, which will operate in a passive way, overcomes the issues raised by moving large volumes of ventilation air, increasing comfort for occupants, by reducing the impact of downdrafts as noise levels compared to conventional air conditioning systems.

In another boost, the works will create a workplace that is fit for purpose and meets the council’s sustainability targets. A BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) assessment of very good is being targeted for the revamped 1 Lancaster Circus which would officially recognise the low environmental impact of the works at the building.

Improvements to the building also include new and much-improved windows, an increase in recycling facilities, use of materials from sustainable sources and an innovative energy system which will be delivered from a combined heat and power system being installed at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The refurbishment works are on target and the first phase of the project will see employees move back in to the refurbished third and fourth floors later this year. The full refurbishment of the building is due for completion by the summer of next year.


Notes to editors

1. Business Transformation is Birmingham City Council’s ambitious nine-strand programme which aims to modernise and enhance services delivered across the whole authority to citizens. It is projected that the programme will realise benefits of around £1.5billion over the ten years to 2016.
2. Service Birmingham is a strategic partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita which is supporting a transformation in the way the council works; improving services and contributing to its efficiency agenda. This strategic partnership forms part of the council’s objective to find better and more innovative ways of delivering services for the benefit of employees and citizens. The principle of this joint venture focuses on the provision of cost effective, sector leading, ICT services and in supporting the council in achieving its business transformation objectives.
3. Working for the Future, an essential part of the council’s wider Business Transformation programme, will consolidate the office portfolio, providing new workspace for around 9,000 employees across the council and contributing to the delivery of four key outcomes: better customer service, improved workplaces and work styles, greater sustainability and lower property operating costs. WFTF is set to realise £100million of benefits for the council.
4. Working for the Future is the only one of the council’s nine Business Transformation programmes for which the full expenditure and benefits are quoted over 25 years. The remaining eight programmes are projected over the ten years to 2016.

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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