Contractor joins architect White Design and window manufacturer Velux to offer energy-saving buildings.
Contractor Willmott Dixon has teamed up with architect White Design and Danish window manufacturer Velux to launch a design-and-build package called Re-thinking Space, which it says will cut occupants' energy bills 75%.

The brand, to be launched shortly, will offer a one-stop-shop for clients who want to procure ecologically efficient buildings.

Re-thinking Space is not a construction system as such, but buildings with the brand will have elements in common. For example, they will not have air-conditioning, they will have a high level of daylighting and the structure will be based on glulam timber frames procured from sustainable sources.

White Design, which specialises in low-energy buildings, will aim to achieve environmental standards within 10% of European best practice.

The finished product should use a quarter of the energy of conventional structures of a similar size and quality. The company predicts that the end users' energy bills will fall 75%.

The brand is to be marketed as a sustainable building solution for offices, schools, healthcare buildings, hotels and community arts facilities.

Rick Willmott, chairman of Willmott Dixon, said the three venture partners would work on an "informal partnership" basis.

The first Re-thinking Space building, a sales office and training centre, was built for Velux in Kettering, Northamptonshire. Willmott said Velux had been approached by three firms that wanted to buy the Kettering office.

A second Re-thinking Space scheme, for a primary school in Cheshire, has been submitted for planning permission.

Cheshire council intends to use the system at its Kingsmead Primary School, under the government's Schools of the Future initiative.

The architect will make it a priority to use timber from sustainably managed forests in the buildings.

Linda Farrow, sustainability adviser at White Design, said: "We are trying to remove as much steel as possible from the design because of the pollution created in making it."