Work starts on Bennetts Associates project to transform a supermarket to low-energy council offices

Work has begun on a scheme to transform a disused supermarket building into sustainable council offices.

Designed by architects Bennetts Associates, who were behind the transformation of a gas guzzling 60s office block into low energy offices for Hampshire County Council, the £4m project will rework the supermarket into an office building for The Moray Council in Elgin, Scotland.

The supermarket building is a typical long-span steel structure with blockwork and precast concrete facades. It has been redesigned to create 3,000m2 of office space and incorporates wind towers and roof lights in the centre of the deep-plan building which allow all interior workspaces to be naturally ventilated.

These features, coupled with the retention of the building’s existing structure, minimises the environmental impact of the project’s construction and lifecycle.

The project aims to achieve carbon emissions of 28KgCO2/m2/a, taking the building from an Energy Performance Certificate of G to B.

Rab Bennetts, director of Bennetts Associates, said: “This project is a timely example of how neglected buildings of numerous typologies can be reinterpreted into cost-effective and imaginative spaces. The transformation of the supermarket in Elgin into sustainable office accommodation is particularly important as it allows the council to rationalise its building stock whilst connecting the headquarters to the local community.”

Bennetts Associates was appointed as part of a Mace team to prepare design information to RIBA stage D.

Mace will continue to manage the project while Bennetts Associates will offer advice to contractors Stewart Milne Construction and implementation architects Douglas Forrest of Acanthus Architects df.