5 Broadgate, the newly completed London headquarters of financial services firm UBS, is London’s biggest ‘groundscraper’. Situated in the heart of the City of London’s square mile, and designed by Make Architects for client British Land PLC, the world-class office building provides over 700,000 square feet of new space across 12 floors, and delivers exceptional trading, client and staff facilities.
The ground-breaking design of 5 Broadgate evolved through a harmonious partnership between Make, British Land, UBS, and fit out specialists TP Bennett, as well as the consultant team and the City of London. The early stages of the design process were carried out in a restricted-access, highly interactive and creative environment that was akin to that of a major research project. From the outset it was clear that 5 Broadgate would be a quantum-leap forward in the City of London in terms of size, materiality, and commercial and environmental performance. The building has broken new ground and turned conventional office design on its head.
The design evolved from an additive process into a reductive process. 5 Broadgate takes the form of a double cube that has been carved into. A financial engine block with an aura of vault-like security and the crafted precision of a Swiss watch, this single expression evokes a feeling of robustness and solidity, and unifies the functions of the building, creating a new language of quality and precision in the City.
A striking feature of the design is the building’s stainless steel façade, with its bold cutbacks and terraces and sophisticated mix of environmental systems. The cladding system carefully balances natural daylight with high levels of thermal and solar insulation, providing an envelope that is 65 per cent solid. Selected for its durability and aesthetic qualities, 5 Broadgate is one of the largest stainless steel-clad buildings in the world.
The building’s exterior eloquently expresses its key internal features. The angles of the escape stairs are matched by the angle of the glazed slots on the east and west elevations and internally the stairs’ steel support structure has been cranked to match these alignments. Likewise, the lifts have been expressed with vertical slots to maximise the scenic views.
The vertical arrangement of the building begins with a double-height reception and amenity volume at ground level. The section then rises through four trading floors with virtually uninterrupted floorplates, one trading support floor, two conference and visitor facility floors with outdoor terraces, four floors of general offices, and a plant level.
Key to the brief was to consolidate the majority of UBS’s London workforce. There are four football pitch-sized floors with cores pushed to the perimeter. The 13.5m x 12m structural grid ensures long-term spatial flexibility with the potential to accommodate up to 3,000 traders.
It may be one of the biggest but 5 Broadgate is also one of the most sustainable office buildings of its time. Key environmental features include the second biggest array of photovoltaic cells and solar thermal panels in the City of London, a substantial area of green roof, 70 percent waste recycling, FSC-certified timber, and a BREEAM Excellent rating. Overall, 5 Broadgate’s energy conservation level is nearly 50 percent better than required by regulations.
The scheme has also created a new north-south pedestrian link between the centre of Broadgate and Sun Street Passage, which connects to the concourse of Liverpool Street station. Make has designed an Op Art style array of coloured panels for this connection, and the scheme also features a major public artwork by David Batchelor.
2015 WAF Awards Shortlisted - Office category
2013 New London Awards Shortlisted – Office Buildings
2011 World Architecture Festival Shortlisted - Future Projects, Commercial
High efficient façade
Solar water heating
Water-saving sanitary appliances
Low-emitting materials and finishes
High efficient lighting
Sustainable sourced timber
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
Architectural firm Make started with a solid object and cut into it, to allow light in and views out where needed – minimising the energy needed for cooling, heating and lighting, at the same time as promoting the wellbeing of those in the building. Photovoltaic panels on the roof also harness the sun’s power to generate clean energy.
Like all British Land new office buildings, 5 Broadgate is rated BREEAM Excellent for sustainability. It achieved a BREEAM score in the top 10 of all London office developments to date and really showcases the Client's sustainability strategy in action.
Designed to be over 50% more efficient than Building Regulations require, features that will generate cost efficiency for UBS include:
• 65% of the façade is solid stainless steel cladding, enhancing thermal performance versus highly glazed offices, with thermal insulation within the ground floor and roof delivering further improvements
• 1.5m diameter light pipes provide naturally lit and ventilated amenity spaces
• High performance coating on windows maximises daylight within the office space, whilst limiting unwanted heat gains and glare
• High levels of air tightness, with leakage at 4.29m3/hr/m2 at 50 Pa (50% better than Building Regulations require)
• 12,900 sq ft of photovoltaic and solar thermal panels will generate up to 379,000 kWh of clean energy each year
• Building management system supports detailed monitoring and management of operational energy use to maximise efficiency and allow for changes in operating hours, plug loads and use of space
• Rainwater harvesting system will capture rainfall across 77,500 sq ft, cutting mains water use by up to 1.7 million litres each year and slowing stormwater runoff to reduce local flood risks.
In addition, through our responsible approach to development:
• 5 Broadgate is one of only 80 buildings worldwide to gain Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) project certification, with all timber and timber based products used in the construction of the shell, core element and first phase of the landlord fit-out guaranteed from well managed forests
View the FSC 5 Broadgate video
• 99.7% of construction waste diverted from landfill through re-use and recycling, including 4,000m3 of demolition concrete crushed on site, avoiding 400 lorry journeys on London’s busy roads and saving £110,000
• 8% less embodied carbon versus the preliminary design, saving 3,300 tonnes of carbon through strategies such as low carbon concrete, reduced façade skin thickness and a raft foundation system, as well as changing stainless steel cladding production and transport for cladding, blockwork and piling.
Alongside the high thermal performance of the building, levels of natural light and access to views out, features to support the wellbeing and productivity of the UBS team include:
• 7,500 sq ft of green roof space and 1,900 sq ft of planting, enhancing air quality and providing pleasant green spaces that nurture people’s sense of wellbeing, at the same time as enhancing ecological value (the diversity of plant species on the site pre and post construction improved by a factor of +1.77)
• 520 cycle spaces, 512 lockers and 50 showers to support active lifestyles and sustainable travel
• Best practice use of low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) for key internal finishes and fittings, one of the important families of chemicals to consider for indoor air quality.
During construction, our main contractor Mace and subcontractors also achieved best practice standards for health and safety:
• 2.2 million construction hours without a reportable accident, with induction training, Toolbox Talks and prefabrication off site having a hugely positive impact on the safety of workers
• 10 out of 10 Considerate Constructors Scheme score for ‘value their workforce’ for efforts to mitigate stress levels in workforce.
Throughout the project, we worked with Mace and our Broadgate team to deliver on our Community Charter commitments:
• Mace scored an impressive 46 out of 50 on the Considerate Constructors Scheme at 5 Broadgate and won a Gold Award, rated ‘exceptional’ for care about appearance, community, environment, safety and workforce
• 15 art and design students from The Bridge Academy in Hackney created original artwork for the 5 Broadgate hoardings, inspired by a trip to Broadgate (pictured right)
• Through our support for the Construction Youth Trust’s Budding Brunels programme, East London students welcomed the chance to visit the 5 Broadgate site and meet professionals from British Land, Buro Happold, Mace, Make Architects and Watkins Payne
• Ongoing local engagement included weekly meetings with neighbours and monthly newsletters
• Initiatives to minimise local disruption included careful planning with the Corporation of London, Network Rail and Transport for London, automated noise monitors, consolidated deliveries outside peak times to cut traffic congestion, and prefabrication off site to reduce heavy goods vehicles going in and out of the site
• Daily inspection rounds, external litter picks and high quality hoardings ensured that the entire perimeter area was extremely well presented
• Support for charity Apples and Pears adventure playground in Shoreditch saw Mace volunteers installing new security gates, cycle racks and energy efficient floodlights, creating a bug hotel and building brick barbeques, and raising £3,000 for the charity, including a donation from the Mace Foundation
• Other community initiatives included fundraising events for youth charity Ahoy in Deptford.
SKILLS & OPPORTUNITY
• The construction of 5 Broadgate supported 10,000 jobs and contributed £383m Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy, with substantial local contributions.
• Local training and employment programme, Broadgate Works, funded by British Land, Blackstone, Mace and the Corporation of London, and run by a full time Employment and Skills Manager based on site
• Participation in job fairs in Hackney and nearby boroughs, followed by guidance sessions for candidates
• 150 local jobs supported during construction, including almost 20 apprenticeships
• 100 training courses provided to local workers
• 8% of project value spent with local businesses, with £108m procured from local suppliers, including £18.7m from small and medium sized enterprises.
Source: Sarah Cary, Sustainable Developments Executive at British Land
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The British Land Company Plc
Building services engineer:
Watkins Payne Partnership
Green certification consultant:
Watkins Payne Partnership
Hilson Moran , DP9
BREEAM New Construction 2011 (UK) Excellent