Test of Time

This award rewards previous BCO award winners that have proven themselves to live up to their original aspirations and intentions. In January 20179we invited previous regional and national BCO Award winners from 2014 to apply for the award, which included submitting a post occupancy evaluation to demonstrate the effectiveness of the building in coping with occupancy requirements over time.

Sponsored by

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NATIONAL WINNER


 AW_NAT15_WWF5

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AW_NAT15_WWF1

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Living Planet Centre: WWF-UK Headquarters, Rufford House, Brewery Road, Woking 

           

When the Living Planet Centre won the BCO Innovation Award in 2015 the judges noted how the building had pushed the boundaries in innovation and sustainability in the workplace: And it is testimony to the excellence of the WWF’s Woking HQ that in 2020 it was still pushing those boundaries and remains at the forefront of sustainable design and construction.

 

The ‘Magic Carpet’ building is constructed on a podium above a retained public car park, the perimeter planted with shrubs, trees and flowers helps it blend with the surrounding landscape. A stunning curving timber grid-shell spans the width, creating a dramatic and light-filled interior.

 

The highly flexible working environment is complemented by a conference venue, a variety of meeting rooms, education support facilities and the WWF Experience exhibit which is open to the public and helps to connect the organisation with the local community.

On-site sustainable features include ground source heat pumps, PVs, thermal mass, natural & mixed mode ventilation, and was awarded a BREEAM Outstanding rating. Careful material selection was based upon embodied carbon content and long life. 

 

The project has improved the public realm dramatically and harmoniously links to the town centre. It is surrounded by trees and a new wetlands area created to provide a wildlife corridor to a nearby moor. The biodiversity of the site has been enhanced by the introduction of new habitats and plant species, including a pond and reed bed, planted sections of the plinth, wildlife corridor between the Canal and Moor, and a sedum roof that covers select outbuildings.

 

The implementation of a green travel plan has led to significant decrease of car use from 61 % to 22% and regular POEs show a vast improvement in staff wellbeing.

Pre-pandemic the WWF had changed to flexible working patterns, significantly increased the population of the building, and had upped the IT requirements – the design of the building meant it could cope effortlessly with this evolution.

 

The Living Planet Centre was ahead of its time when delivered and still leads the way in environmental sustainability and spreading social value to a local and global audience.

 

PROJECT DETAILS

Client:

WWF-UK 

Architect:

Hopkins Architects

Owner:

WWF-UK 

Interior Designer

Hopkins Architects

Occupier: 

WWF-UK

M&E Engineer:

Atelier Ten

Project Manager:

King Sturge

Structural Engineer:

Expedition Engineering

Quantity Surveyor:

Gardiner & Theobald

Contractor:

Wilmott Dixon

 Brief Consultant:

Alexi Marmot Associates