The transformation of a landmark office building in the centre of Glasgow has provided the city with much-needed grade A office space, using air distribution products by Waterloo Air Products Ltd.
Formerly known as the Cerium Building, this part-refurbishment, part-new build project, aptly located on the corner of Waterloo Street and Douglas Street, now offers 85,400ft2 of offices and wellness facilities over seven floors.
Glasgow is renowned for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture, built on the legacy of its prosperous history of maritime trade and shipbuilding. Today, the city centre is benefiting from a government strategy to address a shortage of premium office accommodation.
The renovation of 55 Douglas Street was supported by £12m of funding from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) as part of the Building Scotland Fund.
The scope of this project was extensive with the entire internal area being renovated and expanded to create large, versatile, virtually column-free floorplates ranging from 6,000 to 16,000ft2. The original façade was largely adopted but the front exterior was completely transformed with a double height entrance and a 10,000ft extension to increase the footprint of the building.
Working with M&E design consultants Hulley & Kirkwood, Waterloo became involved at the design concept stage of the development. “Waterloo’s product range always offers the high performance and quality that a project of this scope requires,” said Hulley & Kirkwood’s technical director Allan West. “But it is equally important to us to find products that are both adaptable and aesthetically sympathetic to our design plans. Waterloo’s proposed products were a perfect fit with the architect’s ceiling design aspiration, so everything could quite literally slot into place without any need for adaptations.”
The primary requirement was for a diffuser to run around the perimeter of the building’s upper floors that would integrate seamlessly in terms of both fit and appearance with the two sizes of perforated steel ceiling tiles. Waterloo’s aluminium continuous linear slot diffuser (CS-F) was selected as the best product for this installation due to its industry-leading aerodynamic and acoustic performance. A further advantage was that Waterloo could supply a variation of this diffuser (CS-M) that would exactly match the smaller tiles.
Precise colour match was also an important consideration. Waterloo was able to provide the diffusers in exactly the same polyester powder coated RAL9003 paint finish as the tiles, which was very slightly different to Waterloo’s normal colour for this product. Virtually anything is possible with Waterloo’s extensive range of products and finishes.
Ceiling system manufacturer SAS International supplied Waterloo with the tiles and the CS-M slot diffusers were easily dropped into place thanks to the precise matching of the tile’s aperture with the diffuser’s dimensions. The combined tiles and diffusers were then delivered to the site, ready for installation.
“Going the extra mile in this way really makes a difference to hitting our deadlines,” said Stephen Kane, operations manager at mechanical installation contractor Weir & McQuiston. “This kind of collaboration helps us to deliver the outstanding results that our reputation relies on. It is always a pleasure to work with the team from Waterloo.”
The ground floor and basement areas feature the full extent of wellness facilities that are considered essential to any modern office building. This includes bike racks, a cycle repair station, exercise studio, changing rooms and showers, car parking, electric vehicle charging points and Amazon lockers. Waterloo products used within these areas included circular swirl diffusers in a mill finish to complement the interior design of the reception area, exhaust valves for the toilet areas and external louvres in a finish to match the external fabric of the building.
Jim Campbell of HVRS, which specialises in sales & marketing of key heating, ventilation and renewables products to the construction and building services industry, was Waterloo’s representative for this project.
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