Architect: Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners
Type of works: installation of air plenum raised floor of RMG600 and DRF600
With the Orange Call Centre at Darlington, architect Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners has created a building which reflects the client's youthful image while providing 56,000m² of comfortable and efficient workspace for 450 employees.
The large footprint building is a steel portal-frame building with insulated profiled metal roof and wall cladding. It is designed as a very smart, high-bay warehouse, fitted out as an office. At the time Orange was a division of the Chinese company Hutchinson Telecom, so a Chinese feng-shui expert was also consulted regarding the lay out.
The space is organised as two large open-plan office areas flanking a central spine zone, which contains the computer room and other support functions such as paper store. A suspended ceiling is avoided by service trees under the roof lights, thus combining natural and artificial lighting.
Fresh air vented through the generous 600mm deep plenum floor, which also accommodates high levels of power, voice and data cabling. Raised floors in the office areas are in the medium grade RMG600 system. The dimensional accuracy of the RMG panels, skilfully installed, meant that air-leakage requirements were comfortably met using a standard system. Where floor loadings are higher, such as the computer equipment room and paper store area, a heavy-grade DRF panel was used.