Today Ordnance Survey marked the start of building work on its new head office with a ground-breaking ceremony at Adanac Park.
John Denham MP, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills and Vanessa Lawrence CB, Ordnance Survey Director General and Chief Executive, broke the earth using traditional “silver spades”, alongside representatives from leading property developer Kier.
The new Ordnance Survey head office, sited alongside the M271, will be a flagship corporate building at the gateway to Southampton, the city that has been the agency’s home for over 160 years.
Mr Denham commented: "I am delighted to be able to cut the first turf for Ordnance Survey's new headquarters. This exciting and innovative new building means that Ordnance Survey will continue its long association with Southampton. The project will also see up to 200 building workers employed which is good news for the construction industry in the downturn. I also hope that some apprentices will be involved with the construction."
Building is expected to take 17 months, with staff set to move from the existing Maybush offices at the end of 2010. The current Romsey Road site is then earmarked for redevelopment.
Vanessa Lawrence said: “Our new head office will safeguard Ordnance Survey’s long-term future as an innovative and world-class organisation based in the Southampton area. The building will offer staff significant improvements to their working environment and I am delighted to see construction work begin.”
Ordnance Survey’s existing site – opened by The Queen in 1969 – was designed when business and technology needs were markedly different to today. At that time there was more than 3,000 head office staff, compared to current numbers of around 1,100.
The new head office and on-site nursery will cover 16,400m² and has been designed to be a very low energy user, making maximum use of natural resources and minimising green house gas emissions. This includes using the ground as a source, through heat pumps, to heat and cool the building and natural ventilation to reduce the need for air conditioning.
A main feature of the external design is a large textured brick wall that will to act as an ‘acoustic buffer’ to minimise the motorway noise on the office areas of the building.
Kier Property Director Andrew White commented: “We are extremely proud of the part we are playing in the delivery of this scheme, which aligns with our commitment to sustainable development and regeneration of brownfield land.
“We look forward to creating a headquarters of which Ordnance Survey will be proud and which will further grow our portfolio in the provision of landmark headquarters buildings for blue chip clients.”