The BBC recently announced that they are moving into the former Typhoo Tea Factory in what will be the newest sustainable, net zero operational office space in Birmingham. Located in Digbeth, the BBC’s move has been heralded as a catalyst for regeneration that will start the development of Digbeth as a new creative quarter for Birmingham.

The development of the factory will be one of Birmingham’s most efficient buildings in construction. It will also be targeting a BREEAM rating of ‘outstanding’, an energy performance certificate of ‘A’, in addition the building will be developed in line with other sustainable accreditations. The move is an important part of the BBC’s move to become a Net Zero broadcaster by 2030. All of which makes us an excellent fit to support on this project thanks to our recent work on projects such as Here + Now and The Distillery.

Typhoo Wharf will become home to multiple BBC teams and services. We have provided a test fit analysis which was used to inform the BBC of the suitability of the space to efficiently accommodate a multi-disciplinary team. This work required spatial, technical, financial and lifecycle carbon understanding to holistically evaluate the BBC’s property. This was only possible because of our in-depth knowledge of adjacencies, technical requirements and the over-arching ethos and strategy of the BBC.

The analysis was collated and utilised to explore the potential of the BBC’s existing space at The Mailbox whilst also enabling analysis of new comparator spaces. We then assisted in providing technical advice and support, through the tendering process, to guide developers on how best the BBC’s requirements could be met. This included collating a set of Employers Requirements which prioritises the use of appropriate recycled or recyclable materials wherever practical and to focus on the use of life cycle products in construction and fit out.

Currently lying derelict, the regeneration of the former factory to a 84,000 sqft, purpose-built, broadcast centre will lead it to become one of the BBC’s most sustainable and flexible spaces to date. Working in collaboration with the BBC we are currently enabling their vision for a unique and sustainable workplace to be brought to life. This move is a step change for future progression and growth for the BBC as a sustainable broadcaster. It is a continuation of our successful partnership in developing and delivering forward thinking, collaborative and creative work environments together.

The BBC will engage with the local community as part of its move and preserve the heritage of the building in retaining the shell and soul of its former iteration. The intent is to reduce footprint whilst maximising efficiency of space, streamlining working practices. We are developing concepts that will see a move away from formal working and creating more collaborative spaces which offer extensive flexibility. We can reflect the BBC’s culture through our designs thanks to our previous work with them, whilst also generating future ways of working to ultimately realise a truly aspirational space that attracts and retains the best of the best talent.