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🟩 GreenBricks Building of the Week 🟩 The Catalyst

Geordie green

Historic site of the old Scottish & Newcastle brewery – now home to the UK’s Innovation Centre for Ageing. The Catalyst is a central building in Newcastle’s new innovation district, regenerating 24 acres of former industrial land.


🏢Building Details

  • 100,000 sq ft., 6-storeys

  • Completed October 2019

  • Constructing Excellence National Awards 2020 – Sustainability Winner

👷🏾‍♀️Developer & Contractor

✍️Architects & Engineers


  • 1st BREEAM Outstanding office (87.2%) in the North East: achieved at no extra cost to client or stakeholders

  • Holistic approach to fabric, services and management = 89.9% improvement in thermal losses + 48% improvement in air permeability rates

  • Incorporates SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems): cascading rain gardens, green roof + pipe storage attenuation – restricts offsite flow to a minimal 5l/s, has capacity for 1-in-100-year storm events, and 40% allowance for climate change

  • Photovoltaic panels generate up to 27,000kWh per year

🥦 Wellbeing

  • Interior design based around ease of navigation for visitors with visual impairments or disabilities – including dementia-friendly areas tested by stakeholders

  • Fabrics and finishes selected to create a warm and cosy feel, akin to a non-corporate, hospitality environment

  • The building acts as a ‘beacon’ for both Ageing and Data related innovation with world-class facilities under one roof: tenants benefit from working alongside like-minded organisations

  • Interactive double height public exhibition space + 75 capacity TED style theatre + impressive 22 seat boardroom with panoramic city views

🎈Bonus feature

The project team delivered the building 6 weeks ahead of schedule and £7m under budget – without compromising health and safety, quality or sustainability. The dream.

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