Westminster House, Manchester
Westminster House is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment to provide the building with a new and more prominent reception facility, a new retail unit to the ground floor, new windows throughout and a fresher, more modern look internally. The eight storey 1970’s building in Manchester City Centre, which is bound by Minshull Street, Portland Street and Aytoun Street will see all of the floors except three (which are currently tenanted) undergo refurbishment to provide Grade A office space.
The office building is surrounded by key public transport links such as Piccadilly Station and Piccadilly Gardens Interchange. The building provides 15,100sq m of lettable space, as well as A3 space at ground floor level along Portland Street and B1 office space along Aytoun Street, Portland Street and Minshull Street.
Work started on the project in September 2015 by Manchester based contractor Styles&Wood, with Deloitte Real Estate as project managers, and is due for completion in early June 2017.
Michelle Richardson, Technical Director at Deloitte Real Estate, commented: “The building is in a prominent location in Manchester City Centre with two of the city’s key transport hubs within walking distance. The building’s location on Portland Street, one of the busiest streets in Manchester, gives it an unrivalled location. Because of this, Aviva Investors recognised that the building needed a significant refurbishment in order to maximise its potential within such a key position in the city.”
Work on the project has so far included replacing the windows on all facades via a phased approach. As the building was built in the 1970s the original windows are no longer fit for purpose in terms of their U-values, solar shading and acoustic performance.
Michelle added: “Putting in the new windows provides better solar glare protection and better thermal and acoustic properties for the tenants. So far we have completed 50% of the window replacement works which have been completed in phases as we work around the building using mast climbers and whilst working around the existing tenant.”
The building’s existing mechanical and electrical plant has been stripped out of the basement area and a more energy-efficient plant and new HV supply have been installed onto the roof. This has cleared space in the basement to install a new structural slab to form the new reception area on the corner of Portland Street and Aytoun Street.
Michelle noted: “Installing such a significant amount of new plant engineering onto the roof and stripping out the existing has been a difficult task logistically. Deloitte and Styles&Wood have had to work closely with the building managers, Colliers, and their FM contractor, Cofely, as well as the building tenants in order to ensure that there was no disruption to services.”
External work will also be undertaken on the project to provide the buildings tenants with a “picnic style area” and parking that they can access from the two core areas within the building.
Michelle said: “Because the building is U-shaped, it has a courtyard which is a unique feature compared to other Grade A office buildings in Manchester City Centre. The plan is to remodel the courtyard to create a soft landscaped area with trees, planting and seating so the tenants have somewhere to sit and enjoy some quiet space.”
With 40% of the work already completed on the project, work left to complete includes the remodel of the main reception, completion of the Cat A fit out to the vacant office floors, completion of the last three facades of window replacements and the completion of the external works.
“We are 50% of the way through the window replacement works and we are 100% complete on the strip out works on the vacant floors,” said Michelle. “We are now working from the top down in terms of the Cat A fit out works with the eighth floor being the most advanced. It is mainly fit out works remaining and this will be completed in phases by March 2017. The last three months on site will be focused on completing the external works.”
Once complete, the building will be rebranded and will be known as ‘Eleven Portland Street.’
Michelle concluded: “Deloitte are proud to be involved with this project in Manchester City Centre. We know how important this building and the project is to our client, Aviva Investors, and as a team we are working hard to ensure that the project is a success. The Piccadilly area is at the heart of Manchester City Centre and hopefully the fact that Aviva are investing approximately £19 million into the area will encourage others to do the same.”
The main contractors on the project are Styles&Wood, the architects are BDP, the mechanical & electrical engineers are Chapman BDSP and the structural engineers are WSP.