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Name: Windmill Green
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Windmill Green is a deep retrofit of an existing 1970s concrete frame building in the heart of Manchester. Overlooked by many, it sat empty for seven years while a series of development plans were brought forward and failed. Acquired in 2015 for £13m, FORE’s was the only approach that retained the building. The development sensitively expanded the space by adding two floors and infilling, taking it 48,000 sq ft to 81,000 sq ft. A mix of office, co-working, and retail, the building is now two-thirds let with tenants Hana, Interact, OneStream, and Oscar Recruitment. The building is notable for the way in which it deeply embraces environmental sustainability, wellbeing, and social impact. Environmentally, it is an ultra-low carbon building, with sustainability running from the clever, authentic choice of materials in the façade, pleated steel stairs, copper detailing and Yorkstone pavers. Lighting consumes less than 5 W/m2, and the in-floor air displacement system is both efficient and celebrates the exposed waffle slab by decluttering the ceiling. Wellness focus runs from the multiple choices on offer for micro-mobility from its fleets of scooters and folding bikes. Equally, this sustainable, dynamic space is used to foster positive social change, from regular community events in the rooftop pavilion to literacy programs with a social enterprise, to employing homeless people during construction.
“ESG” runs through ever part of this building. FORE’s mission is to holistically integrate low carbon and socially impactful strategies throughout the design, build, and operation of its properties. Windmill Green has become an exemplar project that combines these aims with a sensitive architectural approach, while achieving high commercial returns. Windmill Green is Manchester’s first multi-let office to achieve BREEAM Outstanding and has been highly commended by the community, tenants and FORE’s peers.
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