Reuse of materials a key element of Arup workspace refurbishment

Sustainable development firm, Arup, has seen its Manchester hybrid workspace brought to life by fit-out and refurbishment specialist, Overbury.

Arup has been based at 3 Piccadilly Place since 2014, and earlier this year committed to a further 15-year lease on a total of 36,000 sq ft for its 500 colleagues at the Grade A Manchester office building.

Owned by Longmead Capital, 3 Piccadilly Place has undergone significant improvements to build on its sustainability credentials on a pathway to net zero carbon. The building already boasts a BREEAM Excellent rating, Certified 100% renewably sourced energy, and a WiredScore Platinum mark.

As its previous lease ended, Arup opted to expand its presence within 3 Piccadilly Place to capitalise on the building’s enhanced sustainability and wellbeing credentials. The commitment to 3 Piccadilly Place aligns with Arup’s national estates investment strategy for net-zero by 2030.

Overbury worked closely with the Arup team to transform its workspace using the most sustainable methods possible, including reusing furniture where possible.

From the 1,109 pieces of furniture required across the project, Overbury reused 70% (709 items) of existing furniture, working with circular economy partners from the local supply chain to limit the number of items being bought new or sent to landfill.

Where furniture could not be reused, Overbury purchased items through its subcontractors to create cradle-to-cradle solutions. The repurposed items also included reupholstered sofas and lounge chairs, plus re-powder coated stools and media units. Also, 1,800 sq m of carpet was returned via a local take-back scheme.

Using this approach saved 91 kgCO2e of carbon – the equivalent to 42 return flights from Manchester to New York City.

Overbury used Carbonica, its in-house carbon reduction calculator, to monitor carbon savings throughout the project and produce a report that was presented to Arup at the end of the project.

Both companies also collaborated to create an inclusive and accessible design to promote productivity and wellbeing throughout the Arup Manchester team, ensuring perspectives of all employees were considered, including neurodiverse colleagues.

Some design adjustments included dedicated quiet pods and semi-private focus booths to create a hybrid workspace for all.

Finally, Overbury implemented a social value plan for the project, which aligned with Arup’s ESG commitments.

Philip Westwood, director at Overbury, said: “We worked closely with Arup throughout this project to create a vibrant new workplace that meets the company’s broader net zero targets and aligns with their ambitious ESG strategy. By expanding into the existing premises at 3 Piccadilly Place using the most sustainable approaches to office design, including a strong focus on reuse, we’ve produced a future-proof office space for many years to come.”

Mike Wilton, leader of the Manchester office, said: “Arup is a collective of designers, consultants and experts supporting a wide range of organisations across the globe with sustainable development. Practising what we preach is, therefore, key, so we are proud to be able to demonstrate state-of-the-art sustainability in our own office spaces.”

Longmead Capital is completing a programme of substantial works to improve the ESG performance at Piccadilly Place through the implementation of a pathway to net zero carbon and delivery of a high quality amenity hub, which will include 100 bike racks and lockers, as well as shower and changing facilities.

Recent refurbishment of the common areas and on-floor office space has been completed, with the scheme now offering both conventional and fully fitted Cat B workspace solutions available from 8,000 sq ft.

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