BREEAM Outstanding for the Catalyst Building, Newcastle | Bowmer + Kirkland
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The stunning Catalyst Building

The Catalyst Building reception area

The Catalyst Building - one of the lecture theatres

The Catalyst has become the first commercial office building in the North East to be awarded the certification of “Outstanding” by BREEAM – a rating reserved for only the top one per cent of new UK non-domestic buildings.

Designed by GSSArchitecture, the building was completed by B+K in October 2019.

Located on the Newcastle Helix development, The Catalyst is home to Newcastle University’s teams from the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) and the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD). The six-storey building provides a mix of tailored and shared facilities including an interactive double height public exhibition space, a 75 capacity TED style theatre, shared workspaces, Grade A commercial spaces and an impressive 22 seat boardroom with panoramic views of the Newcastle skyline.

BREEAM is an internationally recognised standard for sustainability, which rates multiple criteria across the construction process, such as Health and Wellbeing, Energy, Water, Material usage, and Innovation, to arrive at a final certification rating. The announcement of this “Outstanding” rating for The Catalyst is a great credit to all stakeholders involved in the project, as a great deal of work went in to developing a rigorous design process, ensuring that this would be a building that set the standard for sustainability in the region.

The Catalyst incorporates a range of sustainable technologies such as siphonic drainage feeding into the rain garden, a green roof, a central air handling plant and photovoltaic panels, which will generate up to 27,000kWh of electricity per year. The holistic approach, both to fabric, services and management of the building have resulted in the team achieving an impressive 87.2% score from BREEAM, passing the 85% threshold for the “Outstanding” rating.