ISG will convert a three-storey property called The Bower into what is being described as one of largest and most highly-specified new office developments in the Thames Valley region.
To be delivered by ISG's Reading-based project team, the scheme involves major structural alterations to reconfigure, modernise and extend the 1980s building, creating 137,000 sq ft of Grade A, BREEAM Excellent rated office accommodation. In addition to improving the aesthetics, thermal performance and efficiency of the building, ISG will extend the original footprint with two new wings, adding 20,000 sq ft of accommodation to the original property, providing the largest single office floor-plate in the Thames Valley, the contractor says.
ISG says that there is a trend for upgrading offices in the Thames Valley region because much of the existing asset base is considered outdated for current use, with inefficient layout.
Due for completion in autumn 2016, the programme at The Bower involves removal of two internal stair cores and construction of five external staircases as part of extensive changes to the internal layout. The existing atrium will be demolished and replaced by a new atrium with a feature staircase and reception area. ISG will also reinforce existing columns and introduce additional structural beams to create more open floor plates.
The existing façade will be removed and piled foundations installed to support the new three-storey steel frame extensions to the front of the building. The façade will be re-instated with extensive glazing and high performance cladding.
New building services will include roof-mounted photovoltaic cells to generate electricity.
ISG divisional director Graeme White said: "There has been a surge in demand for property in the Thames Valley from both occupiers and investors over the past year and high-quality office accommodation remains in short supply. As greater numbers of tenants continue to take administrative functions outside of central London, that demand is set to grow. Meanwhile, the Thames Valley has caught the eye of new entrants to the investment market, demonstrating a truly global appeal, which has been boosted still further by proposed infrastructure investment.
"The result is a surge of activity aimed at both upgrading existing office space and delivering structural refurbishments that can increase the volume of lettable accommodation. We are ideally placed to take an increasing share of this burgeoning market with our unrivalled insight into the Thames Valley office market, strong regional supply chain partnerships and credentials as the UK's largest fit out contractor."