April 2, 2020 @ 12:51 by Richard Dawson
The Catalyst at Newcastle Helix has become the first commercial office building in the North East to be awarded the certification of “Outstanding” by BREEAM, a rating reserved for only the top 1 per cent of new UK non-domestic buildings.
Following completion in October 2019, The Catalyst is home to both the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) and the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD).
It provides a mix of tailored and shared facilities including an interactive double height public exhibition space, a 75-capacity TED style theatre, shared workspaces, Grade A commercial office space and a 22-seat boardroom with views of the Newcastle skyline.
BREEAM is an internationally recognised standard for sustainability, which rates multiple criteria across the construction process such as health and wellbeing, energy, water, material usage and innovation, before arriving at a final certification rating.
The Catalyst incorporates a range of sustainable technologies such as siphonic drainage feeding into the rain garden, a green rood, a central air handling plant and photovoltaic panels, which will generate up to 27,000 kWh of electricity per year.
The holistic approach to the fabric, services and management of the Catalyst have resulted in a 87.2 per cent score from BREEAM, passing the 85 per cent threshold for “Outstanding.”
Simon Rennison-Rae, associate at GSSArchitecture’s Newcastle Studio, said: “To achieve Outstanding took a great team effort and was above and beyond the clients target of Excellent.
“Putting sustainability at the forefront of early design, through detailing and then pushing the quality of workmanship on site.
“This building shows our commitment to climate change and progressive architecture that is not only aesthetic but performs to the highest standards.
“We are sure the achievement will also help to attract key commercial tenants to the building, who have sustainability as part of their core business objectives.”