Operational Building Complex

Operational and signalling building or 'nerve centre' in New Cross, south east London housing the vastly complex functional services that allow the line to work.

£9 million

The building is a state of the art, multi-function facility which accommodates signaller's suite, all signalling and communications equipment, drivers 'booking-on' accommodation, staff welfare and union facilities.

The triangular plan arranges three levels of technical and staff accommodation around a central atrium which provides circulation and ventilation. A sophisticated inflatable ETFE rooflight allows natural light deep into the building whilst controlling solar gain.

Sustainability was a key issue with high levels of insulation throughout and care taken to minimise energy use arising from cooling extensive computing and signalling equipment. Warmed, used air from equipment is fed into the building's central atrium, then extracted to a thermal exchange to provide air cooling in summer, warming in winter, distributed through computer floor voids. High quality exposed concrete throughout acts as a 'heat sink', absorbing heat during the day while releasing it at night, thereby minimising temperature swings and energy usage.

The building was designed to provide exceptional operational robustness for signalling and communications and the building envelope design provides very high levels of fire and terrorist resistance. Fereday Pollard worked in close liaison with the client, specialist design team and human engineering consultants to determine exact operational requirements and provide the most efficient and comfortable working environment.

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