Atkins is a powerhouse in the nuclear industry providing design, engineering and project management consultancy across the globe, with a strong presence at Westlakes in Cumbria – the beating heart of Britain’s Energy Coast.
Atkins identified the site and sought out a developer to create 21,500 sq ft of office space. This building would become a new central base at Westlakes for Atkins 200 staff and a hub for its consultants located across the north west region as well as being a place from where they could provide expert services for key clients.
This new bespoke workplace was designed to replace the pretty unsatisfactory arrangement that Atkins had in place, operating out of various small offices located across the Park.
Having gone through a rigorous tender process HBD was appointed, gaining a competitive edge with specialist knowledge from a similar project we had previously been involved with in the area. We factored that knowledge and the availability of Regional Growth Funding into our bid and on appointment we were able to leverage that funding and draw it down for the development.
The appeal of Westlakes
Westlakes Science Park is home to more than 2,000 nuclear industry professionals. Located on the A595 near Whitehaven just 8 miles (13km) north of Sellafield, it is in a breathtaking costal location and benefits from close links to the nuclear, R&D and energy sectors in the area.
With loads of expansion space, plenty of parking, great catering facilities, on site meeting rooms and a whole coastline of fresh air, abundant nature and wildlife Westlakes was the perfect location for Atkins to put down even more permanent roots and HBD was the perfect partner to help them achieve their vision.
The specification for the building was high tech due to the highly sensitive nature of Atkins work, security was paramount. We factored that into our designs, actively engaging with the client to create a building that provided security as well as first class facilities for their team.
An innovative new space
The building was built to a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating and was completed in 2015. The project included the installation of new mechanical ventilation and comfort cooling throughout the office thanks to our partners at S.I. Sealy.
The outcome was a superb building – Rutherford House – 21,500 sq ft of grade A office space designed to allow varying levels of access, zones with high levels of security and privacy measures including specialist glazing and privacy screens.
Of course, HBD worked in its usual collaborative way, with partners including specialists from Britain’s Energy Coast and with funding advice and support from the Regional Growth Fund.
Over the course of the development HBD also struck a strong relationship with Atkins, something which endures today. In fact, following the successful delivery of the Westlake office we were subsequently invited and successfully tendered for Aitkin’s new 100,000 sq ft HQ building in Epsom.
The project gave us vital insight into the requirements of the nuclear supply chain, and HBD is now actively involved in several significant new projects within Cumbria’s nuclear industry.