The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

High Performing Buildings – May’s Roundup

High Performing Buildings – May’s Roundup
25 May 2023

ThisWeekinFM’s high-performing buildings roundup features more regional winners from the British Council for Offices awards.

Winners from the Midlands and Central, plus the South of England and South Wales have been announced. This is in addition to London’s winners who were announced earlier in the month.

The awards recognise buildings that not only demonstrate best practice in office design, fit-out, operation and sustainability, but also set the standard for excellence across the sector.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:


Watch the Video






BCO Regional Award Winners for the Midlands and Central England


  • TJX Watford Campus, 73 Clarendon Rd, Watford (Corporate Workplace)
  • 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham (Commercial Workplace)
  • Roku HQ, 2 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge (Fit Out of Workplace)
  • Sycamore House, 2 Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage (Refurbished/Recycled Workplace)
  • Cadent Gas, Ansty Park, Pilot Way, Coventry (ESG)


The new Watford headquarters of TJX Europe received the award for Best Corporate Workplace. The project sits in a campus of three buildings, with this c.160,000 sq ft centrepiece linked to the other two refurbished buildings via a bold new bridge, creating a collection of connected villages. The judges were impressed to see sustainability and employee wellbeing play a defining role in the design and purpose of this outstanding development. Comfortable and eclectic work and social spaces are shaped around the company’s culture, with the building providing flexibility to keep pace with future requirements.  

103 Colmore Row in Birmingham was crowned Best Commercial Workplace. The judges were struck by the respectful way in which this ambitious 26-storey development has changed the city’s skyline without dominating the conservation area in which it lies. The predominately glazed façade allows 103 Colmore Row to reflect the streetscape around it, while the muted palette of grey and black finishes gives the building a classic, timeless feel. A dramatic entrance art gallery, roof terrace and restaurant provide amenities for tenants and visitors alike, with stunning views. The judging panel commended the project for its bravery and success, with more than 80 per cent of the building let or under offer.

Roku’s office at Building 2, Cambridge Science Park was awarded Best Fit Out of Workplace. This fast track fit out blends traditional office areas with workstation laboratory space to allow the company to test its products in a secure environment. The judging panel applauded Building 2 for the steps taken to minimise operational carbon usage and embodied carbon in the design and build. Embracing BCO’s Guide to Specification, the building showcases Roku’s brand, ethos and culture by carefully accommodating the needs of its workforce and encouraging cross collaboration with other businesses in the science park.



Picture: a photograph of the interior of Roku’s office at Building 2, Cambridge Science Park, showing a reception area with a check-in desk and communal ceiling. Image Credit: Roku


The Refurbished/Recycled Workplace award went to Sycamore House in Stevenage, an office that challenges the idea of what makes a good workspace. The building was unanimously acclaimed by the judging panel for its transformation from an unused metal shed into a cutting-edge life-science facility. Sub-divisible laboratory and office spaces co-exist with vibrant, communal areas that are served by a café and dramatically planted winter gardens. The overall effect is of a multi-tenanted building that feels light, open and genuinely collaborative, encouraging interaction between neighbouring start-up companies.

The ESG award was given to Cadent Gas for its c.100,000 sq ft purpose-built headquarters at Ansty Park, Coventry. The judges singled out this building for its impressive design which is focused on employee engagement and the health and wellbeing of occupants in a light-filled space. Its extensive on-site amenities include a restaurant and gymnasium, mother and baby rooms, multi-faith areas, outdoor terracing and cycle storage. The panel also praised efforts to reduce the build’s carbon footprint, with locally sourced materials and the use of the latest technology and energy-saving measures contributing to first class BREEAM and EPC ratings.


 BCO Regional Award Winners for South England and South Wales



  • One Portwall Square, Bristol (Best Commercial Workplace)
  • CABI Headquarters, Nosworthy Way, Wallingford (Best Corporate Workplace)
  • Clockwise Southampton, 1 Grosvenor Square, Southampton (Best Fit Out of Workplace)
  • Dock House, Welshback, Bristol (Best Project up to 1,500)
  • Campus Reading International, Basingstoke Road, Reading (Best Refurbished/Recycled Workplace)
  • ·HERE Building, HERE + NOW, Thames Valley Park (ESG)


One Portwall Square in Bristol succeeded in the category of Best Commercial Workplace. The innovative building demonstrates what can be achieved on a compact city centre site, even in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. The six-storey Grade A office building of 35,750 sq ft was constructed on the site of disused squash courts and provides desirable sustainable workplace to the Bristol office market. A key focus of the building was placed on wellbeing and environmental performance. The judges were particularly impressed by the pioneering mixed mode heating, ventilation and cooling system, incorporating passive ventilation with traffic light system and concrete core cooling through embedded pipework in the exposed floor slabs. Occupier experience in the building is enhanced through roof terraces on every level and a touchless journey throughout the building.

Winning the award for Best Corporate Workplace, CABI Headquarters in Wallingford convinced the judges with its holistic design scheme which incorporated the occupier’s brand into the building. Its excellent environmental credentials are combined with a passive approach to design and a focus on biodiversity, with a sweeping green roof that meets the landscape seamlessly. The judges highlighted the strong collaboration between the client, design and construction team which delivered this successful scheme on a very impressive budget for a not-for-profit organisation.

A highly flexible space that took home the award for Best Fit out Workplace was Clockwise in Southampton. A clever design, careful use of colour and furnishing has transformed a tired 1990’s office building into an inviting, open and collaborative environment. The scheme has been designed with flexibility in mind. It provides a range of communal spaces as well as a variety of office sizes. Office types are modular allowing office sizes to be modified in the future should the demand change. The project has focused on the use of sustainable and recycled, low VOC materials, lime-based paints, and using local marine waste to create select pieces of furniture. The design takes cues from luxury hospitality and residential design with a nod to Southampton’s Regency architecture. The judges described the winner as “an exceptional workspace that truly lift the spirits”.

Dock House in Bristol was crowned best Project up to 1,500sqm. This compact office on the Bristol harbour front seamlessly blends with surrounding buildings while excelling with bold office fit out, including a secret meeting room and purpose-built bar. The judges highlighted how this office is a perfect example of where an occupier ‘expresses their personality through fixtures and décor’. The building was commercially successful, having been fully let.

Campus Reading International received the award for Best Refurbished/Recycled Workplace. 500,000sq ft of office space has been refurbished to create a space which has ESG and wellness at its core. Moving away from a reliance on fossil fuels, electric heat pumps have been implemented, and over 95 per cent materials removed from site have been reused. The Social Value Bank has worked alongside the project to track and demonstrate the project’s social impact. The building has been designed for flexibility delivering a range of options from fully fitted incubator space to CAT A fit out and shell and core space. Occupiers benefit from high-quality amenity including a restaurant, town hall space, and a gym and wellness suite. The project was awarded a wide range of credentials including BREEAM Excellent, WiredScore Platinum, ActiveScore Gold ratings, WELL Platinum and WELL Health Safety. The judges were convinced by the building’s impressive scale and success demonstrated by positive occupier feedback.



Picture: a photograph of the exterior of the HERE Building, showing the entrance and car park. Image Credit: Jack Hobhouse


The HERE Building, part of the HERE + NOW complex in Thames Valley Park, was the winner of the newly created ESG category. This building is carbon neutral in operation and in construction and embraces circularity by reusing the old HVAC system in the sister building next door. The design team was challenged to design out any excess to minimise upfront carbon and the residual carbon was offset using a high-quality offset programme. Architecturally, the building has been designed sympathetically to the existing fabric and internal features. The judges were stunned by meeting rooms ‘hung from the building’ and occupier wellness initiatives such as a premium gym and personal training, as well as cycling and treatment rooms.

Picture: a photograph of the exterior of the Watford headquarters of TJX Europe. Image Credit: TJX Europe

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 25 May 2023


Related Articles

High Performing Buildings – October’s Roundup

ThisWeekinFM’s high-performing buildings roundup features the winners from the British Council for Offices National Awards.   Watch...

 Read Full Article
London’s Best-In-Class Offices Named 

London’s most outstanding workplaces have been announced, with British Council for Offices Awards going to seven sites. Held at the London Hilton on Park Lane,...

 Read Full Article
The Best of British Offices

The British Council for Offices' National Awards recognises top-quality office design and functionality and sets the standard for excellence across the office...

 Read Full Article
Rising Stars Trek To NexGen Awards

The UK’s rising stars in the commercial property sector have trekked into London to be recognised at the British Council for Offices’ fourth annual NextGen...

 Read Full Article
High Performing Buildings – November’s Roundup

ThisWeekinFM’s high-performing buildings roundup for November 2023 includes winners from the New London Awards. Supported by the Mayor of London and organised by...

 Read Full Article
Plans Submitted for ‘House of Wood’ Office Building in Maidenhead

Plans for an office building with a ‘timber superstructure”, the first of its kind in Maidenhead and the wider Thames Valley, have been submitted. Designed...

 Read Full Article
The Ark – Shanghai’s Floating Former Cement Factory

MAD Architects has released images of its proposed renovations to what was once one of the three largest cement factories in Shanghai.   Watch the...

 Read Full Article
BCO NextGen Awards Celebrates Young Professionals in Commercial Property 

The British Council for Offices NextGen Awards​ 2023 rewarded young professionals from AECOM, BGY, Cundall and Turner & Townsend. Held at Quaglino's in...

 Read Full Article
University of Birmingham Announces New Net-Zero Carbon Smart Building

The University of Birmingham has announced a £50 million investment into a new net-zero building which will significantly expand its energy research and...

 Read Full Article
High Performing Buildings – September’s Roundup

This month’s high performing buildings roundup features the shortlist for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize 2023. The prize is known as the UK’s most...

 Read Full Article