Efficient Woodcock Street workplace opens

By on 24/10/2011 in News

Birmingham City Council has opened the doors of 10 Woodcock Street, its new flagship offices in Aston.

An event last Thursday (October 20) marked the handover of the building from Thomas Vale Construction to Birmingham City Council and was commemorated by an event for local school children during the day and a civic ceremony in the evening hosted by the Lord Mayor, including the unveiling of two school time capsules.

10 Woodcock Street, located close to Aston University, provides in the region of 22,000 sq m of accommodation over five floors and will become the base for over 3,000 Birmingham City Council employees.

Building on the success of the council's workplaces at 1 Lancaster Circus, Lifford House and New Aston House, the design of building has incorporated many sustainable and energy efficient solutions, whilst recognising the need to achieve value for money.

The new £38million workplace provides an enhanced working environment and ultimately will help improve customer service for the citizens of Birmingham.

Cllr Randal Brew, Cabinet Member for Finance at Birmingham City Council, said, “10 Woodcock Street is a fantastic example of how a local authority can provide a modern 21st century enhanced working environment, whilst making substantial savings and providing a workplace that supports employees to deliver improved services.

“This is a yet another major achievement for Birmingham City Council and one which sets a new standard in local government.”

The celebration involved local children from Chilwell Croft Primary School and Perry Beeches Secondary School who unveiled their history time capsules.

The first time capsule was buried in the foundations of the building in 2010 by Chilwell Croft school children and is marked by a plaque in the main reception area. The second is an interactive time capsule designed by children from Perry Beeches Secondary School with support from Service Birmingham and is located within a “post box” in the main reception area.

The children of Perry Beeches School visited Birmingham City University's School of Jewellery, Jaguar Land Rover and the Council House to research the history of Birmingham as part of the development of their time capsule.

10 Woodcock Street was designed by local firm Associated Architects, whose Practice Director Matthew Goer said: “Birmingham City Council required a modern, flexible office environment to enable high levels of efficiency to introduce transformational change - Associated Architects are delighted to have been involved in the delivery of this in the form of the Woodcock Street offices. This building was specifically designed to carefully balance the council's need for a quality civic presence with a closely controlled budget.”

The construction of the building was delivered by Thomas Vale Construction, as part of the Birmingham Construction Partnership and managed by the council's Urban Design team.

Paul Clarke, Strategic Projects Director for Thomas Vale Construction, added: “Thomas Vale Construction is absolutely delighted to complete the prestigious 10 Woodcock Street project and handover the facility to Birmingham City Council.”

“The project has delivered a highly sustainable and flexible facility which has already achieved Construction Excellence demonstration project status, with many innovative features designed and incorporated into the scheme.

“The success of the project is testimony to the partnership approach with Birmingham City Council and Thomas Vale Construction and our integrated collaborative working techniques that were fully adopted by the entire project delivery team from the outset.”

The building was designed with sustainability in mind and is on target to achieve an 'Excellent' BREEAM rating. Several sustainable solutions have been incorporated into the project including rainwater harvesting, and photo-voltaic panels on the roof to generate electricity.

The installation of a brown roof was also created to provide a wildlife habitat, also assisting in the insulation of the building together with an effective waste management system during construction. The innovative solutions are helping the council to reduce its carbon footprint and reduce energy bills.

The new workplace has been developed as part of the Working for the Future programme and will help ensure the council delivers over £100m of savings during the 25 years of the programme.

Birmingham City Council employees will start to move into the new workplace on a phased basis from November 2011 with the building being fully occupied in late 2012.

Hi-res image of the new building

Ends

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski at Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 3621

Notes to editors

10 WOODCOCK STREET FACTS

•    10 Woodcock Street is the council's biggest office construction in over 100 years.
•    10 Woodcock Street will be home to 2,200 workstations and 3,000 people.
•    It has taken 5,080 hours to build in total and 1,522 workers to build it.
•    3,700 cubic metres of concrete used in total to complete the building.
•    Approximately 384,000m of network cabling was used to complete the building's IT network.
•    Approx 880,000 site management & construction workers man hours spent on constructing Woodcock Street offices
•    106 working weeks from start to finish
•    42 different trade specialists employed by Thomas Vale Construction
•    1,100 tonnes of steel used in the frame of the building
•    3,100 tonnes of external wall panels
•    Tallest atria is 42m (or 126ft) high from floor level
•    Volumes of all four atria is 26,230 cubic metres
•    Woodcock Street elevation is just under 100m long
•    22,000 sq m of internal area
•    2,370 workstations
•    61,000 raised floor panels
•    180,000 pedestals (legs) to support the raised floors
•    Just under 750,000 screw fixings used to hold down the pedestals
•    88,000 carpet tiles
•    If all the suspended light fittings were put end to end they would stretch 1.5km

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 £1billion over the ten years to 2016.

2.    Service Birmingham is a strategic partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita which will support 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 operational office portfolio and will be a catalyst for increasing workforce agility across the council contributing to the delivery of four key outcomes: better customer service, improved workplaces and work styles, greater sustainability and lower property operating costs. The Central Administrative Buildings (CAB) element of WFTF programme is set to realise £100million of net benefits over 25 years.

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