Elizabeth II Court - the Environment Centre (tEC)

Elizabeth II Court (formerly Ashburton Court) is an office building forming part of The Castle, Hampshire County Council’s Winchester headquarters.

The 1960s concrete frame building is comprised of four levels of podium car parking with two office buildings above. The concrete frame was retained, and re-clad and remodelled to create a naturally ventilated, open plan modern office space. Approximately 250 parking spaces on top of the podium were cleared to create a new entrance. Amenities include courtyards and a 200-seat auditorium. The remodeling of the building cost £40 million. The refurbishment project involved retaining the existing concrete frame.

Passive Measures
The existing frame’s thermal mass contributed to approximately 25W/m2 of additional cooling by acting as a heat sink in the daytime. The glazing ratio on the main courtyard and street facades is kept below 40%. This helps to minimise cooling loads through the optimisation of façade design to balance daylighting, solar gain and airtightness.

The development has been re-clad in timber/aluminium composite cladding with brick on the outer facades. The existing concrete facade has, however, been crushed and recycled.

Technologies Employed
The building incorporates ventilation ducts to draw air out. The ducts have devices at the top known as wind troughs that utilise renewable wind energy to create the suction force that drives the system. Air movement is controlled by a building management system, but lower windows can be operated manually by occupants.

The data centre utilises conventional down-flow air-conditioning units. However, these units are modified to use fresh air when external temperatures and humidity conditions are conducive. In case conventional chilled water is needed, rejected heat from the chillers is used where possible for heating of air-handling units for offices and other areas.

Intelligent lighting is linked to daylight and movement sensors.

Awards and Achievements

  • Carbon emission reduction of 90kg CO2/m2 per year to a target level of 39kg CO2/m2 per year. The project team believes that the building could eventually achieve 30kg, which is a 70% reduction in energy use.
  • 30% space utilisation improvement leading to eventual 4,500m2 reduction in county council office space requirement.
  • £200,000 annual saving in running costs.
  • 75% more staff occupying the refurbished accommodation (up from 625 to 1,100 staff) due to creation of more space and flexible working practices.
  • Creation of more flexible spaces and modern IT infrastructure will provide opportunities for further efficiency and intensification of use over time.
  • The project team found that it can be more effective to reduce energy input rather than add renewable energy. Collaborative working was central to the successful delivery of the project on time and budget. Hampshire County Council is a leader on the Improvement and Efficiency South East construction and asset management workstream.
  • The project achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating. Energy usage and comfort levels were monitored in the building before refurbishment and the exercise is being repeated on the refurbished building.

Links / Contact Details
Carbon Trust video case study

World Architecture News

Page last updated: 20 August 2010