A flexible 3,000m² office development for Shetland Islands Council is to be created as part of a £6m plan to relocate employees to a central location in Lerwick. Under the scheme, council employees who are currently located in several properties throughout Lerwick will be moved to the new offices.
Construction began in April 2010 and is currently programmed to be completed in March 2012. Main contractor Hunter & Morrisons will hand over the project to the Client, Shetland Leasing and Property Developments Ltd (SLAP), who are funding the project with the Council subsequently renting the building from SLAP.
The three-storey North Ness Offices development comprises a steel frame structure with white STO render and brown-painted timber cladding. Interesting features include a central atrium, which is located between the two office wings. The atrium, which comprises a large glass north-facing area that looks onto the harbour, offers a welcoming social space in the centre of the building. In addition, the main entrance canopy at the front of the office is designed in the shape of the sail of a boat.
The internal space has been designed to be fully flexible in order to allow for any change of purpose if necessary. Although the building was initially designed for the social care service of the council, there are currently considerations for other uses for the building and therefore the fit out and occupants of the building may change.
The development is also highly sustainable: it is built to Grade A energy standards and features indoor bike storage and showers in order to encourage healthy travel to work, an idea that is also supported by the installation of electric charging points outside which promote the use of electric cars.
Due to site restrictions, the majority of the space around the building has been used for the provision of 147 car park spaces.
Craig Nicolson, Senior Project Manager from Shetland Islands Council said: “Works are progressing very well – and we have had no real issues to date. Hunter & Morrisons are performing excellently and the project is currently both on programme and on budget.”