DHL’s new state-of-the-art Southern Hub building, situated on the western edge of Heathrow Airport, houses over 750 employees and plays a crucial role in the express services provider’s UK operation, managing DHL Express shipments for the South East of England. The site has brought together its Head Office and South East operation into one collaborative working environment.
The new £65m facility, accommodating 750 staff, was designed from the outset with a focus on excellent sustainability credentials, with environmental and occupant wellbeing being a priority for DHL. Architects Barton Willmore had already used our blinds in Verosol SilverScreen fabric on other projects, so were confident to specify them for this building.
The theory that outside views and adequate solar heat gain control have a significant positive impact on worker health and wellbeing is well-proven. Therefore it was essential that blinds in the offices should perform both of these functions whilst controlling glare to allow comfortable use of screens and monitors and blend into the overall aesthetics of the building.
With a BREEAM target in mind, the building design included floor to ceiling glazed curtain walling over 5 floors to maximise the use of natural light. This minimises the reliance on artificial lighting as well as providing optimum visual comfort for staff. Given the large expanse of glazing, it was critical for Waverley to provide blinds in a fabric that would protect against the inevitable effects of solar heat gain, whilst maintaining a view to the outside world which includes a panoramic outlook of the Heathrow airport runway.
Waverley provided over two hundred ShadeTech® RBL-C chain operated roller blinds with Verosol SilverScreen fabric to all the main office areas, together with ShadeTech® RBL-E motorised roller blinds to the main reception areas in the same fabric. The 4% openness option was selected to provide a good degree of through vision. Verosol SilverScreen is the highest performing solar shading fabric. A thin layer of highly reflective aluminium applied to the back of the fabric means that 77% of all solar energy entering this building via the glazing is reflected away from the office interior.
This has a dramatic impact on the amount of air conditioning needed to cool the building in hot weather. In winter, the blinds can be lowered to help retain heat within the building. Unlike standard screen fabrics, the metal backing makes the individual fabric yarns almost opaque reducing the amount of light diffused through the yarns and improving the anti-glare performance of the fabric. This produces a visible light transmission factor of 3%, well within the maximum BREEAM parameters of 10% Tv at the time of the project.
We manufactured the blinds in our own factory and installation was completed on time. The end result is an exceptional working environment for DHL staff.
What They Say
“Our client DHL Express was very specific when we were given the brief for the blinds for their new UK Head-Office and immediately we knew that Waverley’s ‘SilverScreen blinds’ was the product to specify. The roller blinds are of high quality and control light and temperature creating a comfortable work environment in the summer with minimum disrupted views outside. The blinds are available in many colours which made it easy to compliment the interior design of the new offices, something which the client was keen to do. As architects, for us, it was important to use a manufacturer that could provide us with a full service from the initial meeting where we discussed the product and specification to the site survey and finally with the installation. SilverScreen blinds are a contemporary product, perfect for modern architecture, and we’d be delighted to specify this product on other projects” – Neha Abayawardana, Associate Architect, Barton Willmore
“This brand new state-of-the-art facility incorporates the latest technology and security options. Providing increased efficiency and sustainability, the new building gives our business the capacity and capability to meet our customers’ growing needs for many years to come. Delivered on time and on budget, the project has been a brilliant success” – Programme Director, DHL Express UK
“A first class, modern and sustainable workspace for our people. Our motivated employees are at the centre of everything we do and I very much look forward to welcoming them to what will be a fantastic new working environment” – CEO, DHL Express UK
“I am delighted to officially open DHL Express’s Southern Hub, a new state-of the-art facility that will help boost trade links between the UK and markets world-wide” – Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary