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Refurbishment Project Award

sponsored by Vaillant

» Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Upon Avon (BuroHappold)
» The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, Gloucester
(Debut Services (South West) Limited)
» The Student Centre, University of Bath  (Hoare Lea)
»The Percy Gee Building, University of Leicester
(Shepheard Epstein Hunter)



The Angel Building is the reinvention of an unloved early-1980s commercial building located where in Islington, north London. The Angel Building provided the perfect opportunity for Norman Disney &Young and Derwent London to build on their combined experience of delivering contemporary design, integrated with modern technologies.

Energy reduction was at the heart of the services development. A low-energy displacement ventilation system provides ‘free’ cooling for a large proportion of the year resulting in the high-efficiency water cooled chillers being used for less time and enabling heat recovery of up to 65%. This gives a 44% reduction in CO2 emissions. To allow the system to overcome the loads associated with a modern-day office, solar energy through the facade needed to be reduced to a minimum. Laboratory tests carried out by Norman Disney & Young give a clear indication of cooling loads achievable with the correct building design; working closely with architects
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, a high-performance facade solution was developed that included a balanced proportion of glazing to solid elements, high-performance glazing and fritting.

Two biomass boilers provide a significant part of the heating load (representing 15% overall energy use). Variable speed pumping is used on both the chilled and heating water to reduce energy consumption to a minimum. Rainwater is harvested and used for flushing WCs and landscape irrigation, while water reduction measures include low-flow washroom fittings and waterless urinals. In addition, DALI lighting systems which can respond to daylight and occupancy levels reduce electrical energy.

It was estimated that the retained concrete elements account for approximately 39,500 tons of concrete, representing a volume diverted from waste or landfill of around 30,000m³.

The building has undergone a radical transformation and now contains 23,116
 (248,835ft²) of high-specification office space, 1,239 (13,345ft²) of retail space, a remarkable atrium, a fine café and breathtaking views across London from its enormous roof terraces.



Queen Mary University's GE Fogg Building houses the school of biological and chemical sciences, one of the largest departments at the Mile End campus in London. The seven-storey, 7,000 building houses more than 70 permanent academic staff and 1,300 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The building is predominantly dedicated to specialist teaching laboratories with two large teaching labs and a suite of ‘containment level 3’ labs, used to conduct research into bio-hazards and toxins such as SARS and MRSA.

Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects enabled a striking transformation of this tired and uncomfortable academic building, extending its life for a fraction of the cost of rebuild.

The building was uneconomic to heat and extreme solar glare meant it was hardly a suitable space for some of the world’s leading scientists. The concrete structure was corroded and the windows were leaking.

Redevelopment was not a feasible option, so the architects developed a three-fold sustainable retrofit solution: to increase the insulation of the existing opaque walls; to install new high-performance glazing throughout; and to include monocrystalline PV cells on parts of the south and south-east facing elevations and sloped roofs.

In delivering the £2.9m project, Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects overcame the logistical challenges of working around live laboratories and a building which bridges a public highway, installing 4,600  of rainscreen cladding and curtain walling across the complex building geometry. Enhancing the identity of the building was vital, hence the use of vibrant green panels and insulated render, reflecting living organisms and plants, and a repetitive pattern within the façade deriving from the organo-chemical forms of living organisms.

The result is improved user comfort with solar gain reduced by 20% and improved thermal comfort, a striking new identity, energy demand reduction of 70% and the generation of 2700kWh/pa renewable energy through PV cells in the facade, contributing to an annual CO2 reduction of 6.0kg/CO2/.

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