Located in the heart of Manchester, 1 Angel Square is the new £110 Million, low-energy, highly sustainable headquarters of The Co-operative Group. Home to more than 3,000 employees working across the retailing and financial services businesses, the building is the first phase of the NOMA project that is set to transform Northern Manchester. The building has been designed to deliver a 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to The Co-operatives current Manchester complex and an 80% reduction in carbon. This will lead to a reduction in operating costs of up to 30%.
The unique modern shape of the building was created by 3DReid Architects and had to fit a brief based around the core values of The Co-operative Group, primarily those of sustainability and an environmental commitment to tackling climate change. It is no surprise then that the now completed building has been awarded the highest ever BREEAM certification, and is now viewed as one of the most outstanding environmentally friendly buildings in the country.
BREEAM focuses heavily on lighting and heating with both being major consumers of energy in a working environment. Utilising a sophisticated building management system that controls every aspect of the facility, the designers of the building also had to ensure that no-one is ever more than 7 metres away from natural light and either has an exterior view, or access to the main glass fronted atrium.
Nab Speakes, of 3DReid explains the other crucial elements within the building:
With such an environmentally focussed brief, we had to not just look at the basic construction elements, but also all those hidden aspects that can significantly impact on the sustainability of a building. One such factor was with regards to the supply of drinking water throughout the building. We had ruled out traditional water coolers because of the carbon footprint, regular deliveries, associated wastage and collection headaches, but with 3 satellite kitchens on each of the 14 floors, we also had to evaluate the issues with individually fed drinking points.
After discussions with the client and other parties, 3DReid Architects investigated further the benefits of using a Vivreau LinkLine system within the building. As Nab explains, because of the shape of the building, it wasnt set to be one of Vivreaus easier installations, yet it has brought significant benefits:
Because of the unusual shape of the building, Vivreau had a few issues to overcome, however by working closely with the design team, none of the problems were insurmountable. LinkLine is now networked to 33x Vi taps and 3x Table Water Bottling Systems that provide chilled and boiling water to each floor within the building.
By installing the LinkLine within 1 Angel Square, we have not only provided a solution that fits perfectly with the positive environmental benefits of the building, but we have also managed to further reduce the energy and filters which would have been required if we had used individual units.
Ben Downer, Facilities Asset Supplier Relationship Manager at The Co-operative Group agrees and is delighted with the way that the new equipment has overcome secondary problems that were becoming a problem at the older buildings:
Prior to moving to 1 Angel Square our buildings consisted of a mix of kitchen facilities and dubious kettles that commonly failed PAT Tests and produced many overheat failures. When we were designing the new premises, we wanted to ensure that we had a safe & reliable point-of-use hot water source that fitted with both The Co-operative ethos and the smooth clean lines of the building. Once we discovered the Vivreau Vi-tap, and realised that it could also provide chilled water from the same font, the benefits became clear.
So impressed were The Co-operative that the Vi-taps have now found their way into other areas, as Ben continues:
The Vi taps have been placed throughout the building, not only at the small kitchen units on each floor, but also within the cafeteria, staff welfare area and the restaurant. Within the kitchens they have helped to improve traffic flow, by removing the problems previously associated with waiting for the kettle to boil, and in general mean a much cleaner and safer working environment. The fonts are robust and solid and because they dispense both chilled still water and boiling water, they actually have a dual benefit of eradicating the need for both water coolers and kettles.
By incorporating the whole spectrum of Vivreau equipment in the form of the Vi-tap, Table Water Bottling System and LinkLine into the new building, the Group has managed to overcome many of the issues surrounding both hot and cold beverage equipment. As Ben concludes:
The Vivreau equipment has been accepted very well by both the staff and caterers, and means that we always have both boiling and chilled water on tap whenever it is required.