Unique office building combines solar technology with a rooftop running track

In a first for central London, a brand new development has incorporated passive design and renewable heating technology with a 150 m rooftop running track.

Completed in 2017, the White Collar Factory is a 16 storey, 27,000 m² office building, situated in the heart of London’s ‘Tech City’ district. The £76 m project incorporates many state-of-the-art building efficiency features. Concrete cooling, whereby chilled water pipes are embedded into the concrete slabs of the building, regulates internal temperatures and provides radiant cooling. The concrete structure itself is internally exposed to absorb heat from people, lights and computers throughout the day.

The building façade contains thermal and solar glazing to reduce glare, while a natural ventilation traffic light system guides workers as to the optimal times to open and close office windows.

A state-of-the-art office building

On the roof of the building is a 150 m running circuit, which allows fitness enthusiasts to exercise safely without leaving the workplace. The two-lane track is cushioned and marked out with a start/finish line, as well as anticlockwise arrows to avoid collisions. The cladding on the outside of the building extends as a screen so that runners are protected from high winds and the roof’s edge. On this top floor are also showers and toilets, in addition to a café and terrace for the tenants of the building.

As the White Collar Factory is a flagship development for Derwent London’s larger Old Street Yard project, developer Arup wanted to include the latest renewable heating technology to cater for 21st century office demands.

With a goal to achieving excellent energy performance and low costs, the developer installed 36 sets of Vitosol 200-T solar thermal panels, which provide heating and hot water for the site, including the showers and toilets for those using the running track. The solar tubes are coated with Viessmann’s intelligent ThermProtect technology, which prevents overheating or vapour formation, which is common in other solar thermal products. This ensures higher solar coverage and less downtime. The solar energy is stored in four 1,500 litre Viessmann Vitocell buffer vessels, for use throughout the day.

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