New modular office building at Bristol & Bath Science Park

Project Details

Location: Bristol & Bath Science Park, Emersons Green, South Gloucestershire
Client: South Gloucestershire Council
Contract Type: JCT Design & Build Contract 2016

Project Summary:

  • Design and construction of a high specification, three-storey modular office development
  • 27 modular bays
  • Office space, kitchen, toilets, internal staircase and lift
  • One elevation almost fully glazed, making use of structural glazing
  • External terrace, glass and PPC (Polished Powder Coated) balustrading
  • High specification Proteus HR cladding
  • Photovoltaic panels
  • All M&E works including service connections to existing Forum Building
  • All groundworks, foundations and drainage
  • External works including guarding, perimeter banking, ramped fire escape, refuse and cycle storage
  • Hard landscaping including block paving, concrete planters and benching
  • Floor area in excess of 700m2
  • Completed May 2021
  • Project value £2,300,000

The Challenge: Create permanent modular office buildings for Bristol and Bath Science Park

Located in South Gloucestershire, close to Bristol and Bath, Bristol and Bath Science Park provide a world-class environment first developed to attract technology firms to the South West. Originally a collaboration between three universities, the South West of England Regional Development Agency and Quantum Property Partnership, the first phase of the Park cost £300 million and covers 59 acres.

An aerial view of Bristol & Bath Science ParkThe Park first opened in 2011 to give science and technology companies space to accelerate development and construction work continues, with completion anticipated in 2033.

Closeup detail of the terrace and overhang building featuresFollowing an open tender process, Enviro Building Solutions were commissioned to construct a high profile, high specification three-storey permanent modular office building. The design incorporates challenging elements including a glazed elevation requiring specialist structural glazing and both terrace and overhang features.

“This was an exciting and challenging project to work on, with the operational complexities further exacerbated by the demands of safe working practices under COVID requirements. The building represents the very best of modular construction, with the focus on sustainability, visual aesthetics and practical performance.”

Craig Reidy, Enviro Building Solutions

Working within the COVID restrictions

With a significant proportion of the build taking place under tight COVID working restrictions, sourcing materials including steelwork and accommodating the workforce presented operational issues. In addition, social distancing regulations meant that teams were working in reduced numbers to comply with requirements.

3 storey stairwell detail

Enviro Building Solutions planned the installation carefully, with groundworks and foundations prepared well in advance. The modular elements of the build were then delivered and completed in three stages, a single storey at a time, to minimise disruption around the Science Park and also to reduce the impact on neighbouring businesses.

Sustainability and aesthetics

Sustainability is an important issue right across the Park. The design incorporated photovoltaic panels installed on the roof, cleverly concealed within a parapet system corresponding with the main façade of the modular office building.

The elegant lines of the structure are enhanced by the use of Proteus HR cladding. This integrated modular rainscreen system achieves excellent continuous aesthetics with a flat façade and recessed joints.

An aluminium honeycomb core is structurally bonded between two thin gauges of lightweight metal skin, suitable for installation on any type of wall construction. Large format panels offer exceptional flatness with a high degree of resistance to impact and thermal bow. In addition, the composite construction can be broken down and fully recycled at end of life.

The front facade with overhang design detailOne of the most striking elements of the build is the front elevation which is almost fully glazed, requiring the incorporation of structural glazing to maintain the required integrity and support. This feature is enhanced by the use of terracing and overhangs, creating a visually compelling look and finish complemented by glass and PPC balustrading.

Rooftop Photovoltaic Panel detailFrom a sustainability point of view, the building achieved an EPC ‘A’ rating. The U-values measuring thermal transmittance in terms of roof, wall, floors, windows and doors significantly exceeded the requirements of the client/contract and building performance regulations.

Part of the EPC rating for the new building

External and monitoring works

External works completed by the Enviro team included guarding, banking around the perimeter of the new building, creation of a ramped fire escape route, refuse storage and provision of cycle parking spaces as well as hard landscaping including block paving, concrete planters and benching.

Covered cycle storage at the side of the office buildingEnviro Building Solutions were also responsible for all M&E works including service connections to the existing Forum Building on the Science Park, fire detection/intruder alarm installations and automated door access facilities. In addition, BMS (Building Management) and CCTV systems have been installed which link to existing site-wide systems. A timber-clad external M&E compound serves the building.

The finished building is an elegant structure optimising the potential for modular build which reflects the technological focus of the Science Park where it is situated.