To local residents and commuters who have put with months of disruption during construction it has been a long time in coming, but this afternoon yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur will be officially opening the new Chesnut Avenue headquarters of DIY giant B&Q this afternoon.
The large scale development at Chandlers Ford covers over 300,000 sq ft and consists of headquarters accommodation, retail store support offices and a merchandising centre known as the “smart lab” where prototype store layouts are trialled. In order to support lorry deliveries to the smart lab a staff car park has been built above the office and lab space.
The three-storey building is built around an outward facing atrium (pictured) and has been constructed using a range of energy-efficient measures such as natural lighting and ventilation and recycled water usage. The building has achieved a ‘BREEAM’ rating of ‘Excellent’ which means it is super environmentally friendly and sustainable.
There are even recharging points in the car park for electrical vehicles and road signs exhorting staff to save the planet by car sharing with colleagues!
The offices can accommodate up to 1,500 staff – which must surely make B&Q – sponsors of Eastleigh’s annual 10k road race – one of Eastleigh’s biggest employers.
When the old office buildings were demolished and approximately 90% of the materials were recycled. The local authority reused items such as door frames and light fittings and floor panels and carpet tiles were relaid in the new building.