Poolway Shared Services Hub

BaS LIFT compiled a strategic needs assessment of the local area, working with the service heads of each of the partner organisations to create a schedule of accommodation. In addition to service planning, a detailed programme of consultation was undertaken with a number of stakeholders. Including Birmingham City Council, the local Primary Care Trust, the Homes and Communities Agency and West Midlands Fire Service, this ensured a series of designs were achieved that would meet aspirations.

The joining together of facilities was a key part of the council’s objective to deliver more from limited budgets, with the co-location and integration of services providing a more viable and sustainable way for the local authority to deliver its key aims.

A sustainable approach to design

With the shared services hub part of a national pilot scheme, the design reflects the requirement for a low carbon building – both in design and in operation. In order to achieve its low carbon objective, the design team utilised a host of techniques which would achieve an airtight building envelope, embracing the principles of ‘Passivhaus’ design and incorporating the use of thermal mass, natural ventilation and night cooling.

Sustainable technologies were proposed where needed, such as photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting and a biomass boiler, which would be powered using wood pellets made from the waste material from the council’s own Parks and Nature Conservation Service. The pre-assessment for the design showed the building would achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating – the optimum ranking, representing a truly exemplar scheme.