MCD Property’s redevelopment of one of Coventry city centre’s historic sites, The Butts begins. BREEAM excellent scheme includes ground source heat pumps

Work recently started on site to turn this site into a £110m mixed use scheme, to be completed over seven phases. Phase one, which lies adjacent to the conversion element of the scheme, comprises the construction of a nine-storey building, incorporating 65,000sqft of BREEAM ‘excellent’ rated offices, 8,000sqft of retail accommodation and 490 secure car parking spaces.

The £18m phase one construction contract has been awarded to John Sisk and Son, with the build programme expected to be completed by May 2008. The architect for the scheme is BBLB and the QS is DBK Back. The BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating will be achieved through a large investment in ground source heat pumps being incorporated into the design.

The QCA relocating

The BREEAM ‘excellent’ status of the completed offices and the architects’ consideration of the surrounding residential area meant that phase one of the new commercial office building has already been pre-let. The Qualification and Curriculum Authority (QCA) intend to relocate from London in May 2009, after Coventry City Council bid for and won the relocation into the city. The relocation comes on the back of Sir Michael Lyons’ review into the potential for public sector relocation, which encouraged a number of Government organisations to relocate from the capital to other areas of the UK. The QCA’s relocation will bring over 500 jobs to the city of Coventry.

DBK Back principal director Steve Kelly said: “The Butts site is well known to the city of Coventry – the City College building on the site having been around since 1935 – and we are delighted to have been appointed to this landmark regeneration scheme. It is a fantastic building which is known by many locals as a place of genuine history and interest. MCD’s foresight will inject new life into the site, which has been underused for several years."

Work and pleasure

The remaining phases will see the provision of nine blocks of residential accommodation comprising 500 one and two-bedroom apartments and penthouses, to suit first time buyers as well as those upgrading to a contemporary city centre property.

The City College building at the Butts is a traditional building of great local interest and MCD is keen to maximise its features by restoring it into 45,000sqft of offices and 20,000sqft of retail accommodation for cafes and restaurants, which will open out onto a landscaped piazza at the rear of the building. MCD also intends to retain and restore the existing 650 seat art deco theatre.

Jennifer Price, development executive at MCD Property, said: “Coventry is fast earning a reputation for the scale and quality of its regeneration and The Butts is a cornerstone of its rebirth.

“We are working with the council and other parties to create a stunning development that will bring a lasting improvement to this area of the city, providing high quality homes and commercial space. It is great to see the scheme underway and working with DBK Back will help us to ensure it is completed within timescale and to the best standards.”