Completed in July 2006, Palestra was constructed as a speculative commercial office building, aimed to appeal to the high-end of the London office market.
The original project was designed by Alsop architects, with Buro Happold providing building services and structural engineering consultancy.
TfL (Transport for London) acquired the building and appointed Buro Happold and Pringle Richards Sharratt for engineering and architecture services for the fit out works.
The TfL fit-out of Palestra required Buro Happold to deliver a cost-effective upgrade of the building’s already efficient systems, reduce its carbon footprint, and to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. This included the resilient design for the TfL traffic and bus control centre on the second floor, which requires 24 hour operation.
Modifications and enhancements were made to the existing building services to improve their efficiency and reduce consumption. These included a new, more efficient chiller system, as well as incorporating leading building management systems (BMS) such as daylight sensors to control lighting, grey water harvesting, fresh air controls with presence detectors enabling shutdown when areas are unoccupied. Softer solutions were also incorporated, such as roof and ground floor vegetation, cycle facilities and the installation of a thin client computer system with the main processing remote from the desks reducing the need for associated cooling on the floor, and the introduction of a highly efficient facilities management system.
Very little was thrown away on this job, almost all of the original building services plant was retained but much was upgraded or improved.
The safe, reliable and energy efficient operation of the new fit-out building services is testament to the success of the building. Setting to work, commissioning, post occupancy adjustments and monitoring have been the key to achieving this. The TfL facilities management team is continuing with careful monitoring and targeting of all the key systems and items of plant. The Buro Happold design team is working closely with TfL to ensure they are supported in this matter.