Global flooring company Flowcrete has reinforced its commitment to manufacturing in the UK and to leading edge sustainable design with the opening of new state-of-the-art headquarters in Cheshire.
HRH The Duke of Gloucester was welcomed by Flowcrete staff to officially open the new building at a celebratory event attended by guests including civic dignitaries, as well as business and community representatives.
The Duke - an architect with a special interest in the built environment, as well as environmental issues saw first hand the latest green construction techniques introduced at the new multi-million pound development, which has been built on Flowcretes existing site in Sandbach.
Mark Greaves, Managing Director of Flowcrete, said: The building has been developed to reflect Flowcretes position as a global leader in its field, with a commitment to a low carbon future - reducing our energy consumption by 93 per cent compared to our previous offices.
It reinforces our commitment to manufacturing in the UK and our confidence in the north-west economy.
Flowcretes sustainable resin flooring products have been installed at high profile locations across the globe, including Beijing Olympic Stadium, the new Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, Dubai International Airport and Médiacité in Liège.
Within the UK, Flowcrete products have been applied at locations including Manchester International Airport, Wembley Stadium and the luxury retail centre, Westfield White City in London.
The Sandbach site is home to Flowcretes international headquarters from where the companys operations which span the globe with 29 sales offices and eight manufacturing centres - are co-ordinated. The company, a subsidiary of RPM International Inc, won the Queens Award for Enterprise, in the International Trade category, in 2009.
Flowcretes Technical Services Director, Peter Dolby, has overseen the new office project - a mix of new build and the refurbishment of an existing building on the site - working with building company Manchester & Cheshire Construction and architects Hulme Upright.
Other energy-saving products used on the new structure, sourced from within the wider RPM group, include an exterior insulation system used to refurbish brickwork on existing buildings from Dryvit Systems, air barrier and window sealants from Tremco Global Sealants Division alongside a vegetative green roof, with waterproofing, from Tremco Roofing Division.
Peter said: As a specialist manufacturer of sustainable seamless flooring for the industrial and commercial market places, we wanted our new offices to reflect our commitment to the environment.
The office has also been developed as a showcase for our floor finishes, within a bright, airy space that provides an optimum working environment.
Features include a thermally efficient glazed wall, framed with sustainable oak.
The green roof comprises of a living carpet of succulent plants, which absorbs carbon dioxide, adds thermal insulation and provides an environment for native birds, insects and other wildlife.
This green roof will also absorb and use rainwater a solution to the problem of draining water, which can result in flash flooding in increasingly unpredictable weather. The roof will now retain and absorb up to 75% of rainfall
Heat is provided by Flowcretes energy efficient Isowarm underfloor heating system, with hot water from an air source heat pump eliminating the use of boilers and keeping costs and environmental impact to a minimum.
There is no air conditioning, but a cool environment is created in hot weather by reversing the underfloor heating system to absorb heat from the building and provide cooling.
This is supported by wind catching technology, solar powered vents and opening window lights to create natural ventilation. Finally, internal lights react to natural daylight levels to minimise energy use.
A podcast about Flowcretes new green office can be downloaded from iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/flowcrete-episode-02-mp3-version/id360972599?i=82493343. A video of the office building taking shape is available from Flowcretes YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/flowcretetv, where the podcast can also be heard. The podcast and video can also be viewed from www.flowcrete.com.