Practical Completion reached and lettings announced at Bristol’s most innovative new office

Nord has announced that Practical Completion has been reached on Bristol’s most innovative office building, One Portwall Square.

Built by Skanska with top design team, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Arup and Elliott Wood, One Portwall Square sets a new standard for the Bristol office market focusing on occupier amenity and wellbeing whilst minimising energy consumption and carbon emissions. It is a highly efficient, sustainable property that has been built to a BREEAM Excellent and EPC A rating. Located in the heart of Bristol’s prime commercial zone, the development is only 450m from Temple Meads Station and Bristol’s largest regeneration investment project, Bristol Temple Quarter.

It is the first office in Bristol to incorporate Concrete Core Cooling, a highly innovative means of cooling internal spaces passively through the use of pipes embedded in the concrete slabs. Chilled water flows through these pipes, cooling the exposed concrete and creating pleasant and comfortable conditions for office occupants. The high thermal mass of concrete means even with large temperature swings outside, the inside room temperature is stable.

The mixed mode ventilation system intelligently monitors external conditions so that when the outside weather is suitable, the mechanical ventilation shuts down and the building can operate in “free running mode” with open windows bringing fresh air into the building, saving energy. On very warm or very cool days, the traffic lights on the floors will indicate that windows should be closed and the heating and cooling systems, which only utilise fresh air, then operate.

The scheme also incorporates a high performance building fabric and smart design to reduce the building’s energy demands. Additionally it connects into the Bristol Heat Network which utilises low and zero carbon technologies to provide heat and hot water.

Recognising that office users in Bristol are looking for a better workplace experience, One Portwall Square has been thoughtfully designed to exceed their requirements. The large private terraces on all upper floors and the creation of the square itself, with two retained silver maple trees, provide ample access to outdoor space, fresh air and a place to pause. Fobbed and automated doors provide tenants with a secure, touchless journey across the building whilst sensor taps and flushes minimise touch points. The accessible and visible concrete staircase encourages stair use around the building and the Active Score Platinum accredited cycling, changing and shower facilities encourage active travel to and within the office. The generous 3.65m floor to ceiling heights, abundance of natural light and clean, pared down aesthetic all contribute to a comfortable and inviting environment that supports productivity and the physical and emotional health of office users.

This focus on tenant amenity and wellbeing has meant that One Portwall Square has already attracted two first class occupiers who are both leading companies in their respective fields. Stirling Prize winning architects AHMM will occupy two floors as their new Bristol home which doubles their existing studio space. International IP specialist law firm Haseltine Lake Kempner are taking the top two floors of the building for their Bristol head office. Only two floors remain to let.

Richard Jones, Nord founder, said: “We are thrilled to be able to open One Portwall Square’s doors and showcase all that this unique, vibrant office has to offer. As a responsible developer Nord was committed to designing and delivering a highly sustainable, efficient new commercial building and we’ve done exactly that. We look forward to welcoming AHMM and Haseltine Lake Kempner to their new home. Their lettings are a great endorsement of Nord’s product and vision for what a modern office should be.”

Charlie Norris, Skanska Operations Director, commented: “It is great to have reached PC on this exemplary office development. Its industry leading, low-energy features and integration of the architecture, structure and services solutions deliver a development that we can all be proud of. The outdoor areas provide a strong sense of place and identity putting One Portwall Square firmly on the Bristol map.”

Peter Morris, Managing Director of AHMM, said: “As the architect of One Portwall Square, we’re delighted and proud to have reached one of the last crucial milestones in its completion, and as a practice and tenant we’re excited to be so close to moving into our new Bristol home. Designing the building has been an opportunity not just to create a place we and our fellow tenants will enjoy working in, but to help set a new benchmark for the workplace in Bristol.”

Graham Lambert, Chief Executive, Haseltine Lake Kempner, commented: “We are thrilled to be moving to this new, inspiring, and vibrant office space. The innovations and sustainability designed into One Portwall Square resonate with our mission to support the innovators in society, protecting their intellectual property and thereby helping to drive further progress. The office concept is very much in line with our ethos of being a progressive and dynamic employer with a real focus on our people’s wellbeing, and with a collaborative and supportive working environment allowing colleagues to flourish and deliver the best service to our clients.”