Sky’s £233m broadcast centre in West London are the first in the world to be naturally ventilated

In 2008 SKY commissioned Arup Associates to design Harlequin 1, a state of the art broadcasting HQ at their Osterley site in West London.

The building needed to house eight television studios and post production and transmission facilities for all Sky’s sport and news content. Sky’s target was to reduce the building’s energy consumption by 20% and generate 20% onsite energy making it Europe’s most sustainable broadcasting facility.

Arup Associates, an integrated architectural and engineering design practice came up with a proposal to naturally ventilate the television studios - a world first, naturally ventilate the office space, introduce free-cooled data rooms and install a giant wind turbine and a combined cooling heat and power plant.

Arup with Sky then set about working through a series of planning issues with local stakeholders including the Heathrow Authorities and the National Air Traffic Services to bring the scheme to life.

Three and a half years on, the £233 million broadcast centre is near completion and has been awarded a BREEAM excellent and an A grade energy performance certificate.

Arup Associates Lead Engineer Mike Beaven says: ’These pioneering proposals do take team effort for all those involved to come together to understand the issues and to understand the concerns and how to allay those concerns sensibly and straightforwardly.’

‘You take each challenge as it comes and you address them as thoroughly and as openly as possible to engage people and to bring them forward with you.