This move supports the firm's investment in West Yorkshire and the North of England amidst large-scale transport, place-making and mass transit schemes set to transform the region, with the government hailing an active development pipeline exceeding £7 billion.

Arup has created 120 new jobs in Leeds since the start of 2021 – over 30% growth – including 100 apprenticeships and graduate positions, in line with the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s ambition to create thousands of new green jobs. Arup, who has had a presence in Leeds since 1989, is ambitious about diversifying and growing its talent pipeline as an engineering, design, sustainability led professional services firm as part of its commitment to social mobility as an employee-owned firm.

At a time when other organisations are downsizing their office space, Arup has invested in a 20% increase in floor space in the city (36,000 sq ft office) and now has over 1,700 employees across the North of England, providing a platform for the firm’s future growth in Leeds and West Yorkshire. 

Arup is proud to be collaborating on smart infrastructure projects, including the first flood alleviation moveable weirs in Europe, with innovative teaching hospital trusts and on plans to grow and develop regional cities in West Yorkshire and beyond. 

The new fit out of the offices was designed and delivered by Overbury. The project brings to life Arup’s long-term sustainability aims while creating a dynamic new workspace that meets the needs of all employees. Overbury consulted closely with the Arup team to ensure that reuse of materials contributed to the finished product, resulting in 60% of existing furniture being reclaimed for use in the fit out.

The fit out has achieved a low embodied carbon impact of 81.5 kg CO2e / m2 (A1-A3). This achievement not only surpassed Arup's initial target of 100 kg CO2e / m2 for the delivery team but also significantly undercut the current standards for typical embodied carbon emissions in fit outs of this scale, which are estimated to be around 150-180 kg CO2e / m2. Additionally, the office is equipped with on-site solar panels that generate enough electricity to power over 42 homes annually.

Arup’s new offices generate less than 50% of the CO2 emissions in use when compared to a typical new-build office, reducing to 100% less following the successful procurement of a fully renewable energy tariff, enabling the building to meet the UKGBC net zero carbon operational energy standard and save a forecasted 407 tonnes of CO2 e annually. 

Tom Bridges discusses the move to our new Leeds office
Celebrating Arup in Leeds - Tom Bridges

The building’s impressive sustainability credentials include a targeted EPC A rating and a Fitwel accreditation, a certification system that positively impacts health through buildings. A key design principle was ensuring the spaces are inclusive and the building offers a range of sustainable transport options with electric vehicle charging points, extensive cycling facilities, immediate access to the Cycle Super Highway plus the park and ride, as well as onsite vegetable patches, beehives and fruit trees.

The building was the first outside London and only the fourth in the UK to achieve a NABERS Design for Performance design reviewed target rating of five stars or above. Arup’s new office in Leeds meets the NABERS requirement to reduce the out-of-hours energy usage to below 2w/m2 overnight.

NABERS UK is a well-established system for rating the energy efficiency of office buildings – and is fast becoming the gold standard for assessing operational energy efficiency across the UK. It provides a benchmark for a building’s energy efficiency – enabling fair comparison across the industry. 

With a living green wall, it will offer a total of 254,879 sq ft of space with BREEAM Outstanding-rated office accommodation plus a gym and leisure and retail space at lower levels.