Hermes Investment Management and partners have completed the restoration of Hanover House at NOMA, Manchester. Together, they have transformed a Grade II listed building into an exceptional and beautiful Grade A office building, blending heritage with contemporary design. Many of the building’s original characteristics have been sensitively restored, alongside upgrades to building fabric and systems that have created a dynamic working environment for future generations.
BREEAM Very Good sustainability rating
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) B
Offices fully let upon completion
Amazon’s new Manchester HQ
Owned by Hermes Investment Management, NOMA is a 20-acre masterplan in Manchester city centre, creating new homes, offices, hotels, shops, restaurants and bars around vibrant urban spaces and public realm. Hermes believes that responsible property investment (RPI) can provide both superior financial returns and a better, more sustainable society.
Hanover House is the earliest surviving commercial warehouse built by the Co-operative Wholesale Society’s in-house architecture department. It is forged from two buildings: E Block, a drapery warehouse completed in 1904, and Hanover, added in 1909 to provide offices and additional warehouse space. An outstanding example of Edwardian baroque, Hanover House was built using the most advanced construction techniques of its time.
As the first part of the Listed Estate on NOMA to undergo major refurbishment, Hermes put a strong focus on understanding the heritage elements and analysing options to retain original characteristics. Hermes also set the project team the target of achieving BREEAM Very Good for sustainability, as standard on all its major refurbishments.
The project team included local architectural firm Sheppard Robson, Manchester-based contractor Russells Construction, property and project managers Workman, mechanical and electrical (M&E) consultant Crookes Walker Consulting, heritage consultant Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture and BREAAM consultant Carbon Credentials.
Health and wellbeing
Energy saving features in the Building Management System (BMS) include:
Additional sustainability measures
How to bring old roofs and windows to modern energy efficiency standards?
This was a risk to achieving satisfactory BREEAM and EPC outcomes. The Grade II listing meant that interventions such as new roofs and windows were not permitted. Although it might have been possible to negotiate relaxations with the local authority, the client brief for the project was to provide Grade A space whilst minimising the impact on the historic fabric. Areas of existing slate roof were therefore dismantled, insulated and re-laid, incorporating insulation to exceed current standards. Secondary glazing was introduced to improve air tightness and window thermal performance and reduce noise intrusion from trams and the city environment. The secondary glazing was designed to be sympathetic to the existing window casements and add to the character of the space.
How to retain existing features and keep them on display?
The ceilings at Hanover House have original moulded plaster details that Hermes and Manchester City Council planners wanted to retain and keep visible. Most modern commercial buildings hide servicing equipment behind suspended ceilings. The team at Hanover House considered a part suspended ceiling solution that would leave some areas visible. However, Hermes felt that this would not make best use of the features and various textures of the space. The M&E engineer was therefore tasked with developing a solution for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting that would provide Grade A performance, whilst leaving the soffits relatively unobstructed. The HVAC solution was a below floor, down flow system, with all ductwork concealed beneath a raised floor, leaving the soffit visible. Unobtrusive light fittings were chosen so as not to detract from the moulded details, with up lighting to emphasise the features and promote the different textures of the space.
How to incorporate enough WCs whilst limiting impact on building form?
Modern offices require WC accommodation for a certain occupancy density. At Hanover House, the existing building core was integral to the massing and form of the floor plates. Significant change to the WC core would be damaging to the special interest, so significant enlargement of the WC core was to be avoided. A space planning study to assess the core size needed to accommodate WCs for an occupancy of 1:8 revealed that the impact would be too great. Analysis of working and occupancy patterns was carried out to forecast how many WCs were likely to be required. Informed by this, WC accommodation was incorporated to an occupancy of 1:10, enabling the core to be kept to a size that complemented the existing building form. Services points were incorporated to future proof the floors, in the event of individual occupiers needing to augment their facilities.
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Chris Taylor, Head of Private Markets, Hermes Investment Management
“The sympathetic and sustainable regeneration of the NOMA estate is driven by the desire to protect and enhance the remarkable heritage of the area. To that aim, Hanover House builds on historic characteristics whilst integrating leading environmental technologies and standards for urban development.”