InfraCivilCon2023: One Angel Square- "Architecture is not built on soil components, concrete, or steel. It is founded in wonder! Libeskind, Daniel

The Co-operative Group's award-winning, £110 million low-energy, highly ecological new headquarters in Manchester City Center, England, was created with flexibility in mind. The structure serves as the focal point of the brand-new, £800 million NOMA development in the Angel Meadows neighbourhood. Its design was revealed by the architects 3DReid in May 2009, and work on it started in July 2010 with a March 2013 completion target. The project exceeded its pan-European sustainability goals in December 2012 and received a world-record BREEAM score of 95.32%. In addition, it is an energy-plus structure that emits no carbon dioxide and produces excess energy. The structure has won multiple accolades for both its eye-catching design and sustainability objectives.

The structure of the building and its mechanical and electrical systems enable occupants to quickly reorganise accommodations and divide space, ensuring that the facility remains relevant as demands change without incurring exorbitant refit expenses. This building is a model for commercial design.

Create & Concept 

The building, known as the "Sliced Egg" due to its striking design, was created by the Manchester division of 3DReid with the goal of creating a landmark, environmentally friendly structure for the city. The diagonal slice, which creates a nine-story atrium with a glass roof inclined toward the south to maximise sunshine and passive solar gain, serves as a focal point. The building has three equilateral triangle-shaped interior concrete cores. Steel was used as the primary structural material because of its strength, which enables the wide, column-free floors required for an open-plan structure.

The building’s exterior has a double skin facade with a cavity between its inner windows and the outer glass panel structure. The double skin facade is for sustainability and aesthetic reasons - and allows for greater control of heating and ventilation, and accentuates the three curved corners of the building. To accentuate the form further, the exterior aluminium structure holding the glass panels in place has been anodised in a bronze-coloured finish, so it will shimmer in the sun. The facade was originally to be powder-coated but the client decided to spend an additional £120,000 on a bronze anodised finish. This excess was justified as being cheaper over 50 years than using a powder-coated finish which would require maintenance.


Soon after the planning approval was given, in July 2010, construction work started. Installing the 539 pile foundations, each at an average depth of 18 metres, was the initial task. The 3,300 tonnes of steel and 1,948 coffered concrete floor slabs that make up the building's structure were quickly put into place. The primary building contractor was BAM Construction, and Gardiner & Theobald handled project management, cost control, and C D M coordination. Buro Happold provided specialised services for structural and fire engineering, while Waagner Biro, based in Austria, was hired to construct the double skin façade.Before beginning assembly and construction, BAM digitally modelled the structure to increase safety, generate a building timetable, and shorten the construction period.

The building's construction included more than 4,000 workers from more than 90 companies, making it the biggest construction site outside of South East England. 

After the building's top was completed in November 2011, construction on the façade's diagonal bronze panels got under way. Roped access methods were used to install the panels. 

Out of the entire cost of £100 million, an estimated £17 million went toward local procurement of building materials, lowering embodied energy and minimising environmental impact. The landscaping in front of the building was designed by Manchester-based Royal Haskoning and Mecanoo.

Sustainable Components 

1. Design of passive solar buildings 

Buildings designed with passive solar technology may utilise all of the heat from the sun. This is accomplished by angling the structure to take maximum advantage of the sun's benefits throughout the day. The atrium and top levels receive more light thanks to the roof's sloping form. Additionally, this feature lowers the price of lighting.

2. Recycling of Rainwater - Reduced water usage is made possible by a feature that collects and recycles rainwater. 

3. A Biofuel Farm of Its Own - The company's own sustainable farms produce the biofuel that powers the structure. 

4. Four. Insulation Shades - Building shades at the top can be opened to let air in during the summer and keep heat from escaping during the winter. 

5. Thermal Towel - The building can behave as a thermal sponge thanks to exposed concrete, significantly lowering heating expenses.

1. angel-square-3d-reid
2. projects/one-angel-square/
3. resources/one-angel-square-case-study-2.pdf



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