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Roche UK’s new office complex brings together 1200 employees on a single site in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. It provides 21,800m2 of modern work space, named ‘Hexagon Place’ to reflect the company’s hexagonal brand. It has been designed to the highest environmental standards, in particular to keep CO2 emissions to around 26% below current Building Regulation (2002) limits.


From the outset, the company specified a building with a low
environmental footprint. The project team used a wide range of
established and cutting edge sustainable technologies in its design. These include:

thermal zoning - The building is split into a number of
separately controlled thermal zones which can be individually adjusted using the automated Building Management System (BMS).

high performance cladding - Sustainably certified (Forestry Stewardship Council) oak timber cladding, blocks unwanted heat gain in the summer and minimises energy loss in winter.

building air-tightness - The whole building was tested for air tightness by the BRE, and significantly beat (current) industry standards. This will offer potentially huge energy savings over the life cycle of the building.

borehole cooling - 120m deep boreholes reject the buildings’ unwanted heat gains into the underground aquifer providing near free cooling. Combined with environmentally friendly ammonia and propane chillers, the cooling system for the site has a very low global warming potential.

water minimisation - Flow regulators and a leak detection system reduce water consumption.

sub-metering - A number of sub meters around the building help monitor and manage water and energy inputs in strategic areas.

Roche also endorses a green transport policy to further reduce CO2 emissions, by encouraging staff to use sustainable methods of travel. The facility achieved a BREEAM score of 10 out of 10 and an ‘Excellent’ rating.

Project team

Building Design Partnership (BDP)


Further information