Start on site at speculative net zero office development

Breaking ground on 4 Angel Square

Construction works have formally started at 4 Angel Square, a flagship office development in central Manchester’s NOMA neighbourhood.

A socially distanced ground-breaking ceremony was attended by representatives from the international business of Federated Hermes, which is investment manager for NOMA, development manager MEPC, main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland (B+K) and Manchester City Council.

4 Angel Square is being speculatively developed in a major demonstration of confidence in the Manchester office market by Federated Hermes and MEPC.

Practical completion is due in 2023, with the high-quality and sustainable design of the 200,000 sq ft Grade A office scheme expected to appeal to a broad range of occupiers.

In line with Federated Hermes and MEPC’s sustainability commitments, 4 Angel Square will be a net zero operational carbon office building.

Federated Hermes, which recently acquired MEPC, is a signatory to the Better Buildings Partnership. The Better Buildings Partnership recently launched NABERS UK, a new rating system that grades the environmental performance of buildings.

The development will sit opposite One Angel Square, the Co-op’s national headquarters, and was the most sustainable office building in the world when built, achieving a record-breaking new build BREEAM score of 95.16%.

Paul Pavia, head of development at MEPC, said: “We recognise our role in addressing the climate crisis and the role of sustainable assets in achieving net zero targets.

“Developments like 4 Angel Square establish a benchmark for the wider real estate industry and encapsulate our ethos as a business.

“Not only is delivering sustainable spaces simply the right thing to do, it demonstrably improves long-term returns for investors. Our business exists within a wider ecosystem and by placing responsible property investment at the heart of everything we do, this enables us to deliver on our obligations to all our stakeholders while making a positive impact on society as a whole.”

Stephen Bradley, director-investment management at the international business of Federated Hermes, said: “4 Angel Square will be more than just a place to work. The design of the building, generous public realm, integration of smart technology, and focus on energy efficiency is about providing a user experience that reinforces collaboration, enhances creativity and makes coming to the office a more fulfilling experience.”

Neil Brook, Bowmer + Kirkland North West regional director, said: “In delivering the building we will look to work with MEPC to reduce embodied carbon in all the components and to provide the most efficient use of energy in the completed building.

“We will also be looking to maximise the social value delivered through the project working with third sector organisations to create opportunities for local people and businesses. The project will enable us to build on our reputation in Manchester and the North West.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “NOMA has consistently set a benchmark for development in the city.

“The NOMA estate has built an international reputation for design and low carbon standards, and 4 Angel Square looks again to meet their mark of quality.

“Investment at this scale should be celebrated as a sign of confidence in the city, and it’s vital we can continue to attract development of this type to support the city’s road to recovery following the pandemic.”

4 Angel Square office will be an operational net zero carbon building in line with the UK Green Building Council’s net zero framework.

Embodied and operational carbon at 4 Angel Square will be looked to be offset through investment into energy-efficient and renewable projects across NOMA as well as the wider Federated Hermes portfolio, which includes Wellington Place in Leeds. MEPC will also work with B+K to reduce embodied carbon during the construction period.

On top of securing an EPC A rating for 4 Angel Square, MEPC is targeting an Outstanding BREEAM rating. The development is also recognised as a LETI pioneer project.

The scheme is part of a 1.2m sq ft development pipeline at NOMA and will form an integral part of NOMA’s business district, which includes One Angel Square – the most sustainable commercial development in the world when it first opened in 2013 – and The Co-op’s main headquarters.

The ground-floor retail space will help activate the new public square that is planned at 4 Angel Square and will connect to the existing public realm surrounding One Angel Square.

The new public square will also connect 4 Angel Square to 2 & 3 Angel Square, which will collectively deliver 600,000 sq ft of Grade A new-build office space once built.

Designed by Manchester-based architect SimpsonHaugh, 4 Angel Square will sit on the corner of Corporation Street and Miller Street and form a key part of the emerging business district within the NOMA neighbourhood.

Once completed, the 200,000 sq ft development has the capacity to bring more than 2,000 new workers to NOMA, who will join an already thriving community of businesses, residents and creatives that have made the 20-acre neighbourhood their home.

The 11-storey office building features a hotel-style entrance lobby and reception area and around 2,500 sq ft of external 10th floor roof terrace. On the ground floor, 7,000 sq ft of retail space will be provided and split over two units, together with a separate ground floor office suite that is perfect for a start-up or small business.

The use of smart building technology is a key part of the design.

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