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Brent Civic Centre

Located next to Wembley Stadium and The SSE Arena, the Civic Centre streamlines all aspects of Brent Council's activities. The spaces are arranged around a soaring, naturally-lit foyer and atrium which houses a large public amphitheatre and staircase. A circular Drum clad in timber fins features prominently, housing a multi-purpose community hall, library, customer services and civic chamber. BREEAM Outstanding - the first project in its category to have achieved this and the most sustainable local authority building in the UK. Multiple awards, including RIBA National Award 2014.


Hopkins Architects



Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ

Sat 10am-5pm.

Wembley Park

Wembley Stadium

83, 92, 182, 206, 297

  • Access for wheelchair users
  • Green features
  • Refreshments available
  • Regularly open to the public at no charge
  • Toilets available

BRENT CIVIC CENTRE BREEAM – Man 9 _ Publication of Building InformationBrent Civic Centre Case studyDescription of the project and function areasBrent Civic Centre is a large multi-use building, which accommodates a number of different functions under one roof. The building has been designed to streamline the efficient delivery of services to Brent’s diverse community and is made up of the following areas.Foyer _ 2,244sqmThe main entrance foyer is at the heart of the civic centre. An external, covered forecourt linked to Arena Square, leads to the main entrance and the internal foyer beyond. The main entrance is set back from Engineer_s Way and displays signs announcing the front door to ensure it is clear that this is where you go on your first visit. The foyer joins the public and civic functions, predominantly in the south-east corner to the administrative offices which wrap around the north and west sides. It is designed to be open, welcoming and accessible to all, in line with all the public parts of the building.Library / Customer Services Centre -1942sqmThe Library will attract the highest number of visitors to the civic centre. It is located on the most prominent south-east corner and shares the ground and mezzanine floors with the Customer Services Centre. The Library is a learning resource centre, which will be a place that engenders learning and creativity; it will also be a place to meet and a host space for community events.Registrar – 671sqmThe new wedding / civil ceremony suite is accessible from the public foyer on one side and the garden, which can be used for weddings, on the other. The garden is clearly separated from the public realm to avoid cross-over of football fans and wedding parties.It is a private space, bounded by living barriers with glimpses and long views through access gates. The open space of the garden gives clear views of the civic centre from Engineer_s Way. Ceremonial drop-off points are provided to the north of the site as well as at the main entrance on Engineer_s Way. Registration of births and deaths will be discreetly handled on the mezzanine level above.Community Hall and Winter Garden _ 2,188sqmThe Community Hall provides a space which can be adapted for conference, banqueting or community activity. It is a large venue which can be split up with sliding / folding partitions and joined to the Winter Garden to accommodate up to 800 seated in banquet style. Catering facilities are provided. The Winter Garden is a unique, all-year offer in Wembley.Civic Hall and Board Rooms _ 1,828sqmThe Civic Hall is a space in which the Council can meet, performing the traditional function of the Council Chamber, yet it is flexible to accommodate different types of function with moveable furniture and adaptable IT/AV. The Board Rooms are large board type meeting rooms which are adaptable to size and requirement through sliding / folding partitions and adaptable IT/AV. Adding to the unique offer, is the access to the covered Terrace from the Board Rooms, which is open sided in contrast to the Winter Garden.Members_ Accommodation – 699sqmAccommodation is provided for the main parties in cellular rooms with a common room for Members_ and the Mayor_s Parlour overlooking Arena Square and beyond.Civic Administration _ 18,870sqmThe _L_ shaped administration block provides flexible open- plan office space for up to 2,000 staff, working at 80 per centutilization at 1,600 workstations. Meeting spaces in closed rooms as well as in the office floor plate is provided in addition to quiet working rooms. Breakout areas are located close to tea points and business centres enclose support areas for office equipment.Basement – 7239sqmCar parking spaces, including disabled / parent-baby bays are provided in the basement with bicycles spaces (additional cycle spaces are also provided at ground floor) and motorcycle spaces. Showers and changing facilities are located at the base of the main office core and stairs and lifts are provided for staff and public arriving in the basement. Mechanical and electrical plant rooms are arranged along the north and west sides. There is also provision for electric vehicles and associated charging points.Retail and caf‚ bar _ 1,351sqmThis area is leased to an external third party to manage the letting of space for retail outlets. The retail outlets that will operate from this area are still being decided and will be confirmed at a later date.Other functional areas:Catering _ 141sqmParking, ramp access, bicycle racks, loading bay – 5,961sqmPlant rooms _ 2,628sqmAncillary spaces and walkways 1,528sqmBREEAM Rating and scoreThe building at the design phase is Outstanding (92.55 per cent) and is on track to receive an Outstanding rating at the Post Construction Review stage.Key innovative and low-impact design features of the buildingThe New Brent Civic Centre is designed to be a resource efficient building using significantly less energy than a conventional building, being some 70 per cent more energy efficient than a comparable building. This is achieved using a series of technologies that compliment each other, notably a modulating CHP engine that uses 2nd Generation Waste bio fuel to provide the cooling, heating, and power base load for over 90 per cent of the year. Not only does this enable very significant reductions in energy and carbon footprint but also is significantly cleaner by reducing NOx emissions 40mg/kwh for electricity produced by the Bio fuel CHP.Further significant improvements are gained by the use of bespoke LED lighting and highly efficient Fluorescent tubes, Integrated Air Source Heat Pump Air Handling Units, and advanced control protocols together with water efficient systems reducing pump power input by 23 per cent.EnergyEnergy efficiencyThe building achieves an _A_ rated Energy Performance Certificate with CO2 factor of 17 significantly exceeding the minimum factor to achieve BREEAM _Outstanding_ of 25. (A similar benchmark for a comparative newly built building would be a CO2 factor of 59.) The building emission rate achieved is 8.5 kgCO2/m2 per annum against the notional emission rate of 45.1kgCO2/m2 per annum.The passive design makes extensive use of natural/mixed mode ventilation, which involves using natural ventilation instead of mechanical ventilation when possible, and natural daylight. Some 10 of the 28 Occupancy Air Handling Units have been changed to Air Source Heat Pump Air Handling Units, eliminating 15 per cent of pipework and reducing pump power input by 23 per cent compared with conventional systems.The building is equipped with a 300 Kw Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP) liquid bio fuel engine, which can run on 11 different waste fuels. The system includes a 240 Kw absorption chiller and the design has eliminated the need for thermal storage. The CCHP system is designed to handle circa 10 per cent of the buildings cooling, heating, and electrical requirements. The system will primarily run on fish oil residue, which is recognised by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets as having the lowest carbon footprint of all current bio fuels and is recognised by the Building Research Establishment as a second generation end-of-line waste that would otherwise be incinerated. The fish oil residue is sourced by an external supplier, who also maintain the system to achieve run hours of circa 90 per cent per annum.The atrium roof is made from Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), which is a semi- opaque material that allows natural daylight into the atrium whilst avoiding excessive solar heat gain, while significantly reducing the lighting carbon and energy footprint.Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting has been extensively used throughout the building, which uses around 50 per cent less energy and has a lifespan of up to 7 times longer than conventional lighting. Energy efficient elevators were installed that each uses around 4,000 kWh per year, or 60 per cent less energy than conventional models. The elevators are each equipped with a regenerative drive that converts the potential energy from downward movements back into electricity. In addition the escalators are energy efficient, with a sensor activated standby mode and a load-sensing device that synchronizes motor output with passenger demand through variable speed drives.Energy monitoring and managementThe Centre is equipped with a Building Management System (BMS), which manages and optimizes the overall building performance through continuous commissioning. The BMS controls and monitors the CCHP plant, the air-handling and chiller plant, electricity use and the indoor environment, with landlord and tenant sub-metering and monitoring of all primary plant and use of gas, water, and electricity.Carbon footprintA carbon footprinting exercise was carried out on the building that included the concrete frame, steel and cladding elements which calculated a 26 per cent reduction in the project_s embodied carbon emissions when compared to standard methods and materials that could have been used. Carbon savings resulted primarily from the reduced thickness of the concrete floor slabs due to the post tensioning method used in the construction, and the substitution of carbon-intensive binder with 50 per cent Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS). GGBS is a by-product of the steel making process and reduces the need for carbon-intensive cement. 25 per cent of the aggregate used on the project was Cornish Stent, which is a secondary aggregate derived from the China Clay mining process. Local materials were also sourced when possible to reduce transport-related carbon emissions.Operational carbon savingsWhilst the New Brent Civic Centre needed to achieve a 56 per cent reduction in energy efficiency against the _notional_ building to achieve BREEAM _ Outstanding_, further design development and bio fuel selection has exceeded this by improving this figure to 72 per cent with an estimated Building Emission Rate of 8.5kgCO2/m2 per annum.Environmentally responsible materialsOver 80 per cent of the construction materials were environmentally certified. BES 6001Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products included the concrete and steel frame and in situ concrete floor slabs. ISO 14001 certified products included the external walls, plasterboard and glass partitions. Material selection was based on a cost and environmental life cycle perspective with a detailed life cycle costing study undertaken. For example, rigid tile/slabs with a relatively high initial cost were selected due to their lower life cycle cost over a 60-year period due to their low replacement rate. Materials with low or zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content were selected, such as finishes, fittings and decorative coatings. Other environmentally responsible materials included the GGBS, and the concrete frame of the building, which has a fair-faced finish that does not require additional finishing materials such as plasterboard or ceiling tiles.Operational waste managementThe Civic centre has comprehensive waste sorting facilities including provision for the composting of biodegradable waste. The Centre will be connected the ENVAC automated vacuum waste collection system in Wembley Park, which efficiently transports waste in underground pipes and avoids the need for waste collection vehicles.Water efficiencyBrent Civic Centre uses around 45 per cent less water than conventional water management systems and techniques. All bathroom fixtures have sensor controls. The Centre has a large rainwater harvesting system, which collects roof runoff in a storage tank in the basement. The system automatically manages and prioritizes the reuse of harvested rainwater for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation. Landscaped areas include drought tolerant species that require minimal irrigation. The BMS measures water consumption in different parts of the building and can detect leakages.Green roofingThe administration building has a green roof. Green roofing provides additional thermal insulation and extends the roof_s lifespan by protecting it from weathering and UV light. In addition roof vegetation can provide habitats for birds and insects, filter airborne pollution and reduce storm-water runoff.BiodiversityThe site was previously a car park with no plant species. The addition of landscaped gardens, a green roof and various hanging boxes for bats and birds, and invertebrate boxes has enhanced biodiversity on the site. Specific species of bird that are being encouraged include the black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros), which is a protected species that tends to favor urban habitats.Minimizing light pollutionExterior lighting luminaries emit less than 15 per cent upward light and have a total site illuminance of 25 lux pre-curfew and 5 lux post-curfew. All external lighting is controlled by daylight sensing photocells, time switches and manual override switches.Healthy indoor environmentsThe administration building is designed to promote healthy environments for staff and visitors. All administration workstations are within 7 meters of a window, which providesnatural daylight and external views at seat-level. The building is also extensively glazed to allow natural daylight to penetrate the building, and various manual and electronic sunblinds avoid solar glare and excessive solar gain. All luminaries in the administration areas have high frequency ballasts to reduce light flicker. The winter garden and public gardens offer spaces to relax.The centre itself is designed to be flexible in order to promote a long useful lifespan. The mixed-use development provides workers and the public with opportunities to work, shop and eat. The multi-functional winter garden and community hall has the capacity for up to 1,000 people for various events, and the public garden can be used for events such as weddings and art exhibitions. The library has enhanced learning resources and study areas. The Customer Service Centre has an interactive waiting area with self-service options.Disabled access features include disabled car parking, automatic doors, and large lifts to all floors. There are also multi-faith contemplation rooms available together with baby feeding space designed alongside baby changing facilities.Promoting more sustainable modes of transportThe Centre has 250 cycling spaces, including 75 basement spaces reserved for staff. Showers and lockers are also provided to encourage staff to cycle to work. Bus stops are within an 8-minute walk, and London Underground lines and National Rail within a12-minute walk. There is a dedicated travel information point in the foyer that displays public transport and taxi information and the local authority will operate a Green Travel Plan. 47 of the basement vehicle parking spaces have electric charging stations, which are connected to the waste biofuel CCHP system to provide vehicles with low-carbon electricity.Costs and predicted energy and water usageThe cost / m2 has been taken using the total Gross Internal Area of the building (GIA) which will include areas not accounted for in the floor area used for energy modelling purposes (stairs, internal plant areas etc). The total GIA has been calculated at 39,683m2._ Building Cost – œ2000/m2_ Services Costs – œ800/m2_ External Works – œ500/m2 (including soft landscaping)_ Gross floor area _ 39,683m2_ Total area of site _ 1.012hectares_ Area of circulation – total GIA with the exclusion of the Civic Hall and Board Rooms,Members_ Accommodation and the Civic Administration areas._ Per cent area of grounds to be used by community – 98 per cent_ Per cent area of building to be used by community – 38 per cent_ Predicted electricity consumption _ 1,811,127kWh/m2_ Predicted fossil fuel consumption _ 492,724 kWh/m2_ Predicted renewable energy generation – 686,123kWh/m2_ Predicted water use – 9 m3/person/year_ Predicted water use to be provided by rainwater or greywater _ 66 per centSteps taken during the construction process to reduce environmental impactsThe project team diverted over 90 per cent of construction waste from landfill through efficient waste management processes. Total recycled content for the project was approximately 50 per cent.Reusable packaging was used to deliver construction materials in order to reduce waste.During the commissioning phase, the project team used an innovative water treatment and reuse system to clean the chilled and heating pipe work, which reduced potable water use by 99 per cent. Water used to clean out pipework can typically amount to almost half the total water used during the construction process. The solution similarly reduces the effluent discharge during treatment and gained an innovation credit from the BRE for its use at Brent Civic Centre.Social or economically sustainable measures achieved/piloted.The project won the Considerate Constructors Scheme National Site Gold Award for its exceptional standards of consideration for the local community, its workforce and the wider environment from a list of 8,500 sites around the country.The project team organized around 50 community engagement events primarily held off-site with schools, local organizations and local disadvantaged or unemployed people. Such events involved around 2,110 people and over 400 hours of Skanska and trade contractor staff time.The project also won the LGC Business Awards which champions schemes undertaken for Local Authorities.There were 50 trainees working on site for Skanska or project trade contractors during the project, and over 1,000 weeks worth of training was facilitated. Various events were also held both on site and at local schools or the College of North West London to provide information about construction careers and apprenticeships, and interview techniques.The project team established the Civic Centre Supply Chains Programme, which worked to maximize the involvement of the local economy and in particular opportunities for local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Over 100 local companies attended a business event about the project and Skanska_s procurement processes. Local suppliers were used on the project, with a total spend of over œ2.3million with 28 companies. Around 500 workers were on site during the peak of construction, and at its peak, 24per cent of the workforce was from Brent, which exceed the 10 per cent target.Regular construction updates were posted on Brent Council_s website to keep local stakeholders updated about the project. Prior to construction, local stakeholders were consulted and the project design and plans were amended accordingly to meet the concerns and issues raised.