Building 5 opens

Today we finally opened the new building on the Microsoft Campus.  You probably don't care but here are some pictures anyway.  Sadly we are being moved back to building 2 which looks much older now by comparison.

waiting to enter B5 We finally enter building 5 ribbon cut new B5 cafe Graham Tyler + champagne Alex Bradley in new restaurant corridor from B4 to B5

Comments (5)
  1. Michael says:

    Do you happen to know if these are ‘green’ buildings? Are they environmentally friendly and all?

    Are they also design friendly? Ergonomic, sophisticated, sleek, airy feel? Just wondering. I’m always curious as to whether Microsoft offers a relatively good green/design space to work in.

  2. dstrange says:

    Here’s what our briefing document says – I think it’s pretty impressive:

    • BREEAM – Currently on track to achieve an excellent certification from the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).   If achieved Building 5 will be the only building on the whole of Thames Valley Business Park that would have the excellent certification.

    Solar Shading – Facade brise-soleils (the fins) shade the building from much of the direct sun while allowing in diffused cool daylight.  Brise-soleils have been incorporated into the building and are installed above the windows on the east, south and west facades. These will contribute to a reduction in peak solar gain and therefore a lower chiller capacity will be required reducing energy usage.

    Rainwater Storage – The storage of the surface water from the roof and it’s re-use for water purposes for WCs and cleaning.  

    Building Mechanical Plant and Flexibility – Fan coils with variable speed DC Motors expected to reduce annual fan coil electrical loads by 40%.  The environmental control system provides the flexibility for the office space and local temperature control.  Similar to those provided for in the existing buildings, except the variable speed fans can be adjusted to suit the heating and cooling load requirements. They have a much lower energy usage than the previous fan motors and will allow more flexibility for any future changes in cooling loads due to changes in occupancy.  The open floor plates will also assist the building air flow.

    Chillers – To make your environment cool and comfortable in the summer energy efficient air-cooled chillers with variable speed technology and improved chiller energy usage of 25% have been installed.

    Condensing Boilers – To make your environment warm and comfortable in the winter low flow compensated temperature controlled boilers have been installed and are expected to reduce heating energy by 15%.

    Power Reduction – The anticipated power usage of the new building has been reduced.  Higher efficiency mechanical plant, lighting technology and small power loads with the passive design measures employed have allowed the building to use much less power than the existing buildings.

    Lighting – Changes in the approach to the lighting design will result in an improved visual environment, providing a far more aesthetically pleasing workplace. The design will also maximise the available daylight which will work in conjunction with the lighting control system to provide the optimum levels.  The lighting system provides increased flexibility with an improved use of up lighting and is individually controlled

    Carbon Emissions – Meeting new guidance to reduce emissions by 27%.

  3. TechieBird says:

    Does the air-con still run too cold in the summer?

    I worked in Building 1 a few years back… if you walked around in July you’d see most of us sat at our desks wearing fleeces because it was so damn cold with the air-con running.  I always used to wonder how much money they’d save if they turned the thermostat up by just one degree.  (Most air-conditioned buildings I’ve worked in seem to have a similar problem.)

  4. dstrange says:

    there was an urban myth a few years back that when they built the buildings here, the building company wired the heat compensation systems back to front so that if it got hot, it put the heaters on and if cold, the air con up.  this sent the building into wild feedback loops which then required manual intervention everytime.  I’m sure its total rubbish but I also worked in building 1 then and remember the fleeces so it seemed a perfectly plausible explanation at the time.  

    I’ve noticed that building 5 seems to have a cool breeze all the time, giving it quite an outdoorsy feel – perhaps that will change with the hot air of sales people move in..

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