The building located in the heart of the city (facing the Mancunian Way), is designed to be a hub for sustainable practices in Manchester. By promoting local food and goods hence reducing costs and energy requirements; promoting community development, and environment protection, the building aims to achieve sustainability in the city.
Hydroponic farming units are spread across nineteen floors of the building to supply locally produced, high quality food. A double skin ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) façade is incorporated on these floors of the thirty-two-floor building to create a controlled or adaptable indoor environment. This double skin ETFE façade allows to create a positive pressure indoors hence insulating the floor, which supports the crop growth and human occupation.
The programme features laboratory spaces, nurseries, etc. to yield high quality produce which can then be utilized in the restaurant located on the ground level. A small tourist centre in the building allows visitors to engage in informative tours around the hydroponic farms.
Additionally, the building features retail or pop-up market spaces to promote locally produced food and goods; and offices that thrive for sustainable development. Floors with these spaces incorporate a glass façade for absorbing natural light, hence achieving a comfortable indoor environment. Further, these floors comprise of voids to connect the different floors together. Communal spaces have been carefully placed aligned to these voids as break out spaces in offices.
The translucent façade of the building attracts onlookers to interact with the indoor activities. Further, the outdoor spaces have been curated to engage the community by incorporating bike lanes, seating areas and walkways. The building has been designed carefully considering the health and wellbeing of the users by incorporating green and shared spaces. The hub is designed to boost Greater Manchester’s efforts to building a sustainable future.