Creation of the largest new build office facility in Leicestershire in the last 20 years
Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park Offices
The Loughborough University Science Enterprise Park (LUSEP) is the UK headquarters of international software company, The Access Group.
This underlines the strength of Leicestershire as a great place to do business, as well as the county council’s place at the forefront of the drive for growth and innovation. It also cements Loughborough’s growing global reputation as a business and innovation centre and shows that Leicestershire is truly open for business.
Leader of Leicestershire County Council
Situated near to Holywell Way in Loughborough, LUSEP is a new build commercial development providing 80,000FT2 net of Category A office space spread over three floors, which will see a revenue of £1.6m a year to support crucial front-line county council services.
Built on land owned by Loughborough University, this development forms part of Leicestershire County Council’s ambitions to develop its estate to help provide long-term financial benefits for the region, including the creation of up to 500 jobs.
Our landscape architects worked as part of Pick Everard’s multi-disciplinary team, partnering with main contractor Wates, architect SGP, Pick Everard’s civil engineers and ecologists FPCR, to create a unique, sustainable and wildlife-friendly landscape around the new office complex, allowing it to blend into the surrounding wider landscape.
We designed the forecourt to be corporate with formal tree and hedge planting, and manicured lawns, feature paving and high-quality granite street furniture. The areas to the rear reveal a more ecologically led landscape with native tree and hedge planting, wildflower meadows and a 35m long, 3.5m tall bat commuting feature. This area also forms part of the proposed riverside walk.
The site’s sustainable drainage system includes a large pond and filter drains, all seamlessly integrated into the landscape offering attenuation as well as biodiversity enhancement. The retaining features are vegetated reinforced slopes hydroseeded with a species rich wildflower mixture.
To meet LCC's programme we had limited time available to progress designs and complete necessary surveys and investigations to support the planning submission, meaning the project and our client had to proceed at a greater level of risk, guided by our expertise. Ecological issues created further time pressure, causing a programme delay of around six months. The main issue was a colony of bats roosting within the Bat Haus, a public artwork and display space located close to the development site.
We successfully made the case for the client to increase its available budget for construction to £21m.This depended on our production of an accurate cost estimate with input from the contractor to agree a £200k reduction to its risk allowance through a collaborative approach which was enabled through the contractor's early appointment via the Scape framework.
This collaborative approach also benefited value engineering; for example, designing revised groundworks and drainage designs saved almost £1m which could be reinvested to meet costs of enhanced foundation and structural designs. To save time we continued with detailed design production while consultations as part of the planning process were underway.
Leicestershire County Council
Civil engineering, Building services engineering, Landscape architecture, Sustainability and energy
Cost and commercial management, Health and safety services, Project and programme management, Property and asset advisory