Bristol’s EQ building smashes headline rent for the fourth time

The UK’s largest regional legal service business, Knights, is moving to a 60-person office at CEG’s EQ development at 111 Victoria Street in Bristol.

The ten-year lease of 6,000 sq ft at £48 psf, sees EQ break Bristol’s, and the big 6, headline rents for the fourth time. It is now 84% let.

Knights will join HSBC, Arup, Evelyn Partners, Dojo, Rathbones, Rund and Baxter Storey at the 200,000 sq ft building – which is the largest speculative office development in the south of England to complete and will accommodate more than 2,000 workers.

James Christacos, Client Services Director at Knights, said: “Moving to EQ is a significant development for our team in Bristol. This new location makes us more accessible bringing our people closer to clients in the heart of the city.”

EQ has also been named the British Council for Offices (BCO’s) Best Commercial Workplace in the south west.

Paul Richardson, Investment Manager at CEG, said: “CEG is committed to delivering the best commercial workspace so we are delighted EQ has been recognised as a for excellence in the office sector.

“We set out to raise the bar – in terms of sustainability, technology, design and occupant wellbeing. We have achieved that, not only unveiling Bristol’s first operational net-zero commercial office building but also using 10 per cent of the space to deliver high quality amenities from the 50-seater auditorium, fitness studio, hospitality lounge, terrace and event space to the ground floor café. It is this approach to wellness and balance for those working here that continues to appeal to such a high calibre of occupiers.”

Sustainability and wellbeing are at the heart of EQ, initiatives include:

  • Targeting BREEAM Outstanding and EPC A, and NABERS 5, it is an electric driven building, with 100% renewable electricity tariff, it was also one of the first to sign up to Bristol City’s district heat network
  • Heating and cooling through low carbon heat-pumps and heat recovery to maximise efficiency as well as a full roof of photovoltaic units (capable of saving 26t of carbon dioxide each year)
  • Fabric-first design, reducing the amount of energy the building needs and the façade uses clever patterned glass to shade the occupiers as the sun moves throughout the day, but maximises natural light.
  • Rainwater recycling (target saving 2,000 litres of water per occupant each year)
  • The use of SMART Technologies to enable the optimum control to drive operational performance
  • Active Score ‘Platinum’ with priority access for cyclists via a dedicated bicycle entrance and ramp from Temple Street to secure basement cycle parking (more than 260 spaces) and health club quality changing and shower facilities
  • EV charging for all 32 car spaces, and e-bike charging points

The award-winning development is the first SmartScore accredited building in the world, scoring Gold. And is also certified WiredScore Platinum.

Tenants have full connectivity to the building and control of lighting and ventilation systems with a real time feed for energy consumption so they can continually improve. Technology initiatives range from the building app, computer aided facilities and building energy management systems, automatic number plate recognition for car park access, smart postal lockers to EV charging.

Ian Wills, Director at JLL one of the agents for EQ, commented: “The quality of the finishes and the level of amenity space has set a new benchmark in the growing Bristol market, and this is demonstrated by the headline rents that have been achieved with the pre-let tenants. The building is very flexible, enabling multi-let occupancy, and has attracted a diverse range of occupiers from tech, financial and professional services.”

Phil Lines, UK Director at Buro Happold, explains: “The exceptional design of EQ and the technological prowess it embraces responds to the step change in the way people are working and occupying workspace. Occupiers care deeply about the sustainability of their environment and want workplaces that are flexible and enabled. EQ is the next generation of Smart buildings; efficient and sustainable, encouraging productivity and collaboration to flourish. This drive to meet our customers’ needs now, and in the future, means CEG has delivered a global benchmark in one of the UK’s most exciting cities.”

Architect Luke Schuberth from Aukett Swanke said: “EQ is a first-class piece of architecture that we have enjoyed being involved in creating. It is testament to a client that has clear ambition and vision and a design team that has a strength in depth and a culture of pushing innovation.

It has been a joy to design EQ, to stretch the boundaries of office design with health and well-being and a sustainable ethos that is at the core. The building will increase the energy of the people within it, whilst reducing the energy required to run it.”

CEG has one of the largest office development pipelines in Bristol, offering some 400,000 sq ft in its local portfolio at The Quorum, The Crescent, 1000 Aztec West and EQ. The £17million redevelopment of 1000 Aztec West completed last year, along with the redevelopment of The Crescent and refurbishment of The Quorum, providing a range of the highest quality city centre and out of town workspace in Bristol.