Arup welcomes first staff to new Birmingham city centre global base

Global sustainable development consultancy Arup has moved to a new office in One Centenary Way at Paradise Birmingham.

With 800 staff and more than 90 specialisms offered, Arup has established its second largest base of operations in the UK and one of its five largest globally in Birmingham.

The new Midlands’ office spans three floors, totalling 68,000 sq ft of space, of One Centenary Way.

With a multi-million pound investment into the move, Arup has cemented its commitment to city centre spaces and the Midlands region as a global business centre.

Arup’s investment aims to bring wider economic impact through employment and other business opportunities.

Returning to the city centre allows Arup to reinforce its connections with the city and the Midlands’ business community.

Completion of the recent fit-out of Arup’s space has been delivered in partnership with fit-out specialists Overbury based on designs from HOK as lead architects who have worked alongside Arup to create a workplace focused on adaptability and flexible working environments.

The designs support inclusive health and wellbeing needs and enhance delivery of complex multidisciplinary projects for clients across the globe.

Working closely with developer MEPC, Arup has ensured One Centenary Way is the first building within the Paradise estate with all-electric heating and hot water along with a wide range of other sustainability features.

Combined with improved access to transport links cutting emissions for employees and visitors, the new office plays a significant role in helping the firm reach net zero carbon by 2030.

Overbury has also installed a suite of SMART sensors to enable dynamic monitoring and future learning around utilisation, comfort, and energy use in the different workspaces throughout the new office.

To minimise embodied carbon, a choice of natural and recycled material has been sourced and incorporated into elements of the design, such as carpets, finishes, paints, and internal finishes. These include such innovations as sheep’s wool insulation and a timber internal staircase running through the centre of the office.

The office will achieve WELLL Building Platinum certification – the first international building standard to focus on human health and wellness in the built environment, enhancing Arup’s commitment to its employees and providing additional workspaces to support neurodiversity, wellbeing and inclusivity.

Understanding the future office need to compete with highly personalised home working arrangements, a variety of workplace settings, social areas, wellbeing areas, creative spaces and focus zones have been provided.

Additional bike storage, lockers and shower facilities have also been installed to support active travel.

The fit-out includes a dedicated café with an invitation to local social enterprises to operate it. A flexible open-plan gallery ground floor space will serve as Arup’s opportunity to engage with local communities in knowledge sharing and the promotion of innovation.

Designed by local Birmingham-based architecture practice, Howells, One Centenary Way is a 68 metre high 280,000 sq ft building prioritising sustainable options and low embodied carbon. Its unique steel exoskeleton design, thanks to its location directly above the A38 Queensway tunnel, makes it one of few buildings in the city that offers occupiers the whole package of location, design and quality.

Cem Budak, head of the Birmingham office at Arup, said: “This move is a true milestone for Arup, both in the Midlands and globally, as we welcome our staff to the office for the first time. By making this major, multi million pound investment in our future right here in the heart of Birmingham, we are underlining our local credentials and strengthening relationships across the entire Arup global network.

“This is not just a local space, but a regional, national and international hub for Arup that we are proud to have influenced through our expertise. As one of the finest commercial locations in the city, our new office is a space where our people can thrive, and which will drive engagement with our clients and local communities.”

Ross Fittall, Commercial Director of Paradise developer and asset manager MEPC, said: “Welcoming Arup into its space gives a huge sense of satisfaction to the wider project team. One Centenary Way is not just an iconic design and a new landmark for the city, but a job well done for everyone involved.”