Co-operative Group's headquarters gets a BREEAM rating of Outstanding

Co-operative Group's headquarters gets a BREEAM rating of Outstanding

Saving the company up to 60% in energy costs, One Angel Square in Manchester, UK, set a new standard for sustainable construction.


Designed to accommodate all of its 3000 employees, construction of the Co-operative group’s new headquarters was an ambitious project. By following BREEAM standards, the company was able to achieve a rating of 95.1% for sustainability.


The Co-operative Group Limited, trading as Co-op, is a British consumer co-operative. It’s made up of a group of retail businesses including grocery retail and wholesale, legal services, funerals and insurance retailing.

By designing to the BREEAM standards we aim to save 40-60% of our current energy costs in the head office complex. Our new home will create a benchmark for every other UK business and showcase what can be achieved through a socially responsible approach to design and construction.
– Spokesperson for the Co-operative Group


The Co-operative group’s was in need of a new building to accommodate over 3,000 employees. The company wanted a sustainably built headquarters that that allowed all its staff to be co-located in one office for the first time.


A result of the combined work of architects, construction teams, quality specialists and project managers, the Co-operative Group’s headquarters is a 15-storey, three-sided structure. The building has a fully glazed double skin façade that curves both horizontally and vertically around the building.

There is a full-height atrium at the heart of the triangular building, its three sides formed from white-painted concrete balconies at each floor level. Behind the balconies there are large, column-free open-plan office floors. Not only is this building aesthetically pleasing, it also set a new standard for sustainability.

The double-skinned facade and soaring open atrium are key to creating natural heating, cooling and lighting. The atrium floods the building’s interior with light, while the facade helps to minimise heating and cooling loads.

In summer, louvres at the top of the facade open to allow the warmed air trapped between its inner and outer skins to rise up and out of the building. In winter, these louvres close so the facade can form an insulated blanket around the building.


The building saves energy from having its own source of heat and power generation through a CHP (combined heat and power) plant.

Other environmental features include:

  • Heat recovery from the IT systems that will also help to heat the building

  • Low-energy LED lighting and IT equipment and systems

  • Greywater and rainwater recycling systems for toilet flushing and irrigation

  • High-efficiency passenger and service lifts

Summary 3DReid


Project manager and QS:
Gardiner & Theobald
BAM Construction
BREEAM offices 2008
BREEAM rating:
Outstanding (95.1%)

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