Stevenage, UK

Sycamore House

ClientKadans Science Partner

Architect Owers Warwick Architects

Civil EngineerHeyne Tillet Steel

Project ManagerBuro Four


The Vision

Our client Kadans Science Partner have transformed a former 1980s warehouse space in Stevenage to create a hub for biomedical start-ups, scale ups and mature companies to collaborate and grow alongside one another. Designed by Owers Warwick Architects, this box-in-box construction creates two indoor ‘streets’ – with spaces for socialising and collaboration – faced by two-storey office and laboratory buildings, with meeting rooms and a café.

Our Contribution

Our MEP team coordinated new incoming utilities whilst maintaining services to a retained tenant – GSK continued to occupy 15% of the building while works were conducted. We were able to design a strategy catering for this continued occupation, ensuring minimal downtime, alongside the installation of new high efficiency mechanical and electrical plant to minimise energy use.

With a design requiring minimal external fabric modifications – and the reuse of as much of the existing material as possible – our experts worked to improve the existing roof to modern U (thermal conduction) values, ensuring greater energy efficiency for the development as a whole. The labs and offices themselves are then further insulated for an even greater thermal performance.

Design for people

The design exceeds institutional benchmarks for commercial laboratory and office developments, utilising CIBSE guidance and best practice to create a building that will respond to the ever changing demands of the modern workplace. Sycamore House has been designed with tenants’ wellbeing in mind, whilst providing a basis for the flexible fit-out requirements of future tenants’. By carefully modelling the building’s thermal performance, we were able to ensure tenant comfort as well as optimising energy performance.

The design exceeds institutional benchmarks for commercial laboratory and office developments.

Design for the planet

The building’s plant utilises an air source heat pump, using grid electricity rather than gas. LED lighting and daylight is carefully integrated into the lighting design to minimise electricity use and heat recovery is applied to all the air handling units and cooling systems, further boosting the development’s energy performance.

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