White Collar Factory

  • A new office building integrating passive design, including natural ventilation and concrete core cooling, with mixed-mode mechanical systems and tablet-based building controls
  • A fully-functional prototype was built, allowing our innovative design to be tested prior to construction
  • Designed to meet both BREEAM Excellent and LEED Platinum requirements

White Collar Factory will be a new 16-storey, 22,000m2 office building in the heart of London’s ‘Tech City’ district. Arup’s innovative design has played a central role in establishing White Collar Factory as a model for a new type of office building – one that offers building users greater flexibility in the way they occupy and adapt floorplates, more choice over their working environment, and comfortable, productive spaces.

Anticipating future needs

Arup’s work on what became the White Collar Factory concept dates back to 2008, when we joined forces with developer Derwent London and architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris to rethink new-build office design for London’s commercial property market. The White Collar Factory approach combines the best of the past – particularly, industrial spaces that provided generous volumes - with new technology. The goal was to anticipate as-yet unexpressed needs from London’s office tenants, rather than simply respond to established commercial office design trends. This exploration led us to focus on five principles: high ceilings, a thermal-mass structure, simple passive façade, flexible floorplates and ‘smart’ servicing.

Natural Ventilation

Arup’s MEP (mechanical, electrical and public health engineering) design features concrete core cooling, 3.5m floor-to-ceiling heights and mixed-mode ventilation, which offers building occupants both the option of natural ventilation - in the form of openable windows - and a mechanical ventilation system. Building users and managers will also be able to ‘see’ in real time how the space they’re working in is operating via a tablet-friendly app linked to the building management system – and provide feedback to improve comfort and energy performance.

White Collar Factory is the flagship project within Derwent London’s larger, six-building Old Street Yard project, which also involves the creation of a new public square and improved routes for pedestrians and cyclists. The building is on track to achieve both BREEAM Excellent and LEED Platinum certification.


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  • Architectural render of the finished White Collar FactoryOpen gallery

    White Collar Factory is the flagship project within Derwent London’s larger, six-building Old Street Yard project.