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  • GreenBricks_

🟩 GreenBricks Building of the Week 🟩 Heelis, National Trust HQ

Restrained green

Headquarters for the UK’s largest charity, this development proves sustainability can be executed on a budget. Low-rise, open-plan, beautifully restrained.


Swindon, UK

🏢Building Details

  • Completed 2005

  • Winner of 12 prestigious awards including 2006 RIBA Sustainability Award and 2007 Civic Trust Sustainability Award

  • 76,500 sq ft – trapezoidal shape

  • Combines 4 regional offices, uniting dispersed employees


✍️Architects & Engineers


  • BREEAM Excellent: CO2 emissions 65% lower than similar developments

  • Over 1,000 photovoltaic roof panels generate 30% of annual electricity requirement

  • Natural light and ventilation philosophy: saw-tooth roof ensures even distribution and 3.7m floor to ceiling height maximises airflow

  • Minimum daylight factor of 5% to all regularly occupied areas – minimises artificial light

  • Developed on brownfield site: removed contamination from Brunel’s Great Western Railway complex

🥦 Wellbeing

  • Central atrium roof glazing allows sunlight to illuminate communal areas throughout the day

  • Ventilation ‘snouts’ (made from recycled beer cans) provide year-round wind-driven ventilation – whilst maintaining sky view

  • High-level acoustic control: suspended acoustic baffles control reverberation in open plan meeting space; doubles-up as acoustic screens to create enclosed breakout areas with pulley system

🎈Bonus feature

Bespoke carpet made from the Trust’s flocks of Herdwick sheep is used throughout. As well as being highly durable, the commission supports local farmers. You herd it here first.

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