Bespoke British design & engineering helps deliver flagship workspace ..

Teamwork and design agility has empowered delivery of a flagship office block that is already drawing international companies to the North West.

Light, airy and clean, open spaces were key design objectives for the 61,500ft2 six-storey office block 2 Stockport Exchange.  To fulfil that, and help achieve the Excellent target BREEAM rating, ventilation specialist Gilberts Blackpool collaborated closely with architect AEDAS and engineering consultant Hannan Associates to devise a bespoke solution for the five floors of offices, and reception.

Originally a perforated diffuser was specified, but it was felt it did not reflect the perceived aesthetics. Because Gilberts is solution focussed, it had the ability and agility to cost-effectively conceive and develop an alternative, validate its performance within its test lab and then manufacture to order.

The result has been, in the five floors of open plan offices, utilisation of Gilberts’ GTD swirl diffusers, concealed behind a bespoke 600mm2 ceiling raft with an inset perforated panel. The raft creates the coanda effect crucial to provide high levels of ventilation without ‘dumping’ across a wide floor area. GTD features a patented swirl technology to introduce high volumes of air into the space below with rapid entrainment and intermixing. It also incorporates a unique frameless chassis ideal for integration into ceiling tiles and planks.

In the main reception area, three continuous runs of Gilberts’ GSL linear bar grille, each 5000mm long, supply and return the air. A combination of active and dummy sections maintains the overall aesthetic whilst offering effective air distribution throughout the open space.

The result has received international approval: the first tenant is global chemical company BASF, moving its UK headquarters to the building.

Observed David Green, senior mechanical building services engineer at Hannah Associates, “Gilberts was the specified grille manufacturer. Its agility to address all the design considerations, and then deliver a solution, reiterated the validity of that decision.”

2 Stockport Exchange is the latest element of the town’s £1billion regeneration by Muse Development for Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. The scheme includes a new mixed-use urban quarter, a new leisure destination, and enhanced regional and national connectivity via a new transport interchange.

Gilberts, based in the region, is the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist. The company has a reputation for excellence, not just in its products but its service, in-house design, manufacturing and test capability, and after-sales support.

To find out more about Gilbert’s air distribution click here.

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