AECOM delivered building services for The Quadrant:MK, Network Rail’s new national centre in Milton Keynes, which is now considered to be one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK. The 400,000sqft development uses 75% less energy and 70% less water compared to similarly-sized office buildings and achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, which is unusual for a building of this size and complexity.

The building’s orientation, glazing and shading negate the need for energy-hungry air conditioning systems. The development harnesses prevailing winds to power year-round natural ventilation. It stores the sun’s heat during winter but avoids overheating during the summer by storing cool air in the evening and slowly releasing it throughout the day.

A two-stage design and build process meant the building was completed on time and on budget – from feasibility to occupation – in just three years. 4D modelling enabled examination at each stage of construction. This improved subcontractor briefings and facilitated greater understanding of critical interfaces, leading to a quick evaluation of cost and time implications.

The building sits on the site of the former national hockey stadium, revitalising an underused corner of central Milton Keynes and providing a huge boost to the local economy. The development comprises four office blocks linked by a large atrium. To future-proof the building, it can be divided in numerous ways to facilitate separate tenancies, with each floor and block functioning autonomously.