Steel offers the solution for the latest office block at the World Business Centre near Heathrow Airport. The fourth steel-framed office block at the World Business Centre (WBC) is currently under construction. The latest block (WBC4) has been designed to provide a contemporary take on the first three pavilions, including elements such as feature fins and solar glazing replacing the brise-soleil of the previous buildings. Colour is used to give each building an identity without undermining the overall concept, with the central cores ranging from red in phase one to jade, ochre and navy blue.
The first three steel-framed WBC blocks were constructed in phases between 1996 and 2001 and have flexible floorplates designed to be partitioned down to quarter floors offering suites from 270m2. Being built for the Arora Group, which also manages two of the older WBC blocks, the latest building is a four-storey structure, which will provide 7,900m2 of CAT A office space and has been pre-let to airport technology group Amadeus.
Explaining the logic behind the decision to use a steel-framed solution for the project. Steel enabled the team to meet the required programme, this was achieved by fabricating the steel frame while the basement in-situ reinforced frame was being constructed, thus enabling the steel frame to be installed in a following sequence as soon as elements of the ground floor were sufficiently cured.
Constructed around a regular 9m × 7.5m grid pattern, the structural steel solution has allowed the team to meet the client’s requirements for a spacious and open office, with minimal impact from the structural frame. Stability for the steel frame is derived from braced bays which are positioned within the two central cores, as well as diaphragm action of the floors. Aiming to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating, WBC4 is scheduled to complete by the end of this year.