Gifford HQ \ Southampton
project name

Gifford HQ \ Southampton

A new low-energy headquarters designed within a ‘commercial green’ ethos.

Project Details

Gifford (Now Ramboll)
Our Service
Completion Date
Contract Value
1700 m2
Download Project

Project Team

Structural Engineer
Gifford (Now Ramboll)
Specification Writer
Design Engine
Fire Consultant
Gifford (now Ramboll)
Acoustic Consultant
Gifford (Now Ramboll)
Landscape Consultant
Lighting Consultant
Gifford (now Ramboll)
Furniture Consultant
Design Engine

Project Awards

Best Office Project Building Services Awards 2005
David Alsop Award Institution of Structural Engineers 2005
Design EngineGifford HQ Distance view

Gifford HQ

This is a new low-energy headquarters building designed within a ‘commercial green’ ethos. The studio building provides open plan office space for 150 engineers on two floors. A new brick reception wing mediates between the client’s current office, a 19th century coach house, and the larger studio building. The wing houses a double-height reception and exhibition area. In meeting its energy targets, the building will be the most energy efficient office in the UK.

This new development provides Ramboll with a unique facility at its headquarters campus in Southampton. The design balances a low energy approach with financial viability and is an exemplar in the application of a Commercial Green concept.

Design EngineGifford HQ DiagramDesign EngineGifford HQ Interior

The Brief

The brief was to produce a building that reflected the aims and values of the Ramboll organisation by providing high quality innovative and sustainable accommodation at a comparable cost to traditional office buildings. The massing of the new studios needed to be sensitively designed to compliment the existing brick buildings on the site.

The commercial Green approach developed by Ramboll minimises energy losses through the building fabric whilst ensuring a comfortable environment for those working in the building. The key was in the detail of the external envelope. This was super insulated, with the glazing optimised to ensure good natural light whilst minimising solar gain and glare at IT workstations.

The wall construction was developed with TRADA to provide a highly insulated robust breathing wall system. This construction permitted the use of horizontally banded windows that provide connectivity to the surrounding countryside.

At roof level thermal mass was enhanced through the use of appropriate lining boards.

Fresh air is introduced into the building via the plenum formed by the 290mm deep raised access floor. The air is supplied by low pressure fans drawing in through vents in the cladding and discharging into the office through swirl diffusers. The air is cooled or warmed by passing over an underfloor heating/cooling system integrated within the raised access floor.

Exposed thermal mass was an integral part of the building services design. At ground floor level this was achieved through having an exposed concrete ceiling. An extended structural grid of 9.6m was achieved by the innovative use of a pre-cast concrete soffit, an in-situ post tensioned concrete topping and tubular steel columns.

A flush inner face to the walls was achieved by using steel columns contained within the walls.

Design EngineGifford HQ Sketch
Design EngineGifford HQ Interior window and man
Design EngineGifford HQ Exterior Night
Design EngineGifford HQ DiagramDesign EngineGifford HQ ExteriorDesign EngineGifford HQ stepsDesign EngineGifford HQ InteriorDesign EngineGifford HQ WindowCarlton House