Energy audit for Wiltshire Council's Bourne Hill Offices

An evaluation of a unique development in historic Salisbury

CSE has been engaged by Wiltshire Council to undertake an evaluation of their Bourne Hill Offices in Salisbury. This is a striking combination of the 18th-century Grade II* listed four storey council offices and a boldly modern three storey linear extension that was added in 2010.

Funding for this study has come from the Technology Strategy Board’s Building Performance Evaluation scheme, and Bourne Hill one of a group of buildings that are 'pilots' for Wiltshire Council's certification to BS (EN)16001, the Energy Management System standard.

Martin Holley is CSE's Senior Technical Project Manger. "Bourne Hill offers a rare opportunity to study a building that combines the new and innovative - including green roofs and steel fin solar shields - with an existing highly protected heritage building. Similar studies have generally focused either on the brand new or on the old; it is not often that one building can provide both."

Below: three views showing the formerly exterior brickwork of the 18th-century building now adjoining the unashamedly modern 21st-century extension

Click on the thumbnails above for more photos of the Bourne Hill Offices

As far as looking at the fabric of the building is concerned, the main questions the study hopes to answer include: To what extent can you balance high-spec building performance with prudent costings in a Grade II* protected building? To what extent does the heritage element of the building 'bring down' the perfomance of the new part? How much does the occupants' view on their working environment and comfort levels vary between those in the new part and those in the old? And what can be done to improve the poor DEC rating in 2011?

CSE recently completed a study with Bath & North East Somerset Council looking at improving the energy efficiency of traditional homes in a heritage setting. You can read more about this here.

The Bourne Hill study will also provide the opportunity to learn more about how modern ways of working can affect a building's performance.

"Wiltshire Council sees new ways of running an office - 'hot desking'* and flexible working - as the way forward," says Martin. "They've made much of the financial savings, technological improvements and benefits to personnel that this provides, but the impact on building performance has not yet been considered."

CSE will be working with the Council's Energy Services Team who provide strategic direction and the monitoring & targeting of energy use across the Council's estate, along with the facility officers at Bourne Hill Offices.

The Council recently established a network of Green Champions: members of staff who, in addition to their other duties, take particular responsibility for sustainability issues, including energy conservation. CSE's project 'Our Big Energy Challenge' (2006-2009) established something similar in a group of public sector organisations in Bath, including the council, the two universities and the police.

Below: drawing by architects, Stanton Williams, of the Bourne Hill Offices next to Salisbury Arts Centre formerly St Edmund’s Church.

Excuse me? 'Hot desking'?
In most offices, desk space is allocated on an individual basis - you sit here, and he sits there. Increasingly, larger organisations are exploring 'hot desking' options in which staff are issued with laptops that can be docked at any desk within the office (or, indeed, other offices on different sites) so that staff can choose where to sit, or they can work from home. At Bourne Hill Offices, Wiltshire County Council is providing two desk spaces for every three staff – and anticipiating savings from by cutting down on space requirements and the associated costs.

Photos © Hufton & Crow Photography 

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