|This view is from the south|
The tallest part, the core with lifts, stair and boilers and mobile phone masts are all at the south end, but there is unshaded surface at the north end. There are two storeys of shops below the 4 storeys of offices. There is an car park on the west side.
He has the idea of eco-renovating it, with boiler replacement and insulation. Having visited my house and discussed heat pumps and solar charging, and all that goes with it, we have prepared a plan for improvement of the building, and for making it very energy efficient, if not carbon zero altogether, expanding the technology of the Peveril Solar house to be applied to an office building.
This would include about 120 sqm of PV array on the roof, 50 sqm of solar thermal panel charging a cluster of boreholes in the car park below, two replacement ground source heat pumps for the original boilers (pipes all using the existing vertical ducts). We would also be able to dump summer heat gains of the building into the ground, either with different boreholes, or perhaps sufficient for it not to require solar panels at all!
The windows are single glazed but in good condition, so could be upgraded with a programme of secondary glazing, floor by floor, and the small area of walls below the windows can be insulated internally. The roof element can be insulated with an inverted roof method. With such improved insulation, there is a risk of heat gains that will have to be dealt with, e.g. by underground thermal charging.
I have suggested taking down the suspended ceiling to use the floor slab as thermal flywheel, and instal a number of zonal MVHR units as there are currently no ventilation ducts. ('Warehouse chic' ?). There are acoustic problems with and exposed slab, but one can suspend absorbers in the air space that allow thermal air circulation.
I need to do some before-and-after heat loss calculations so see if the combination of insulation, PV, MVHR, solar charging and GSHP would get close to the ideal of zero carbon. It would be wonderful if we can!
Postscript October 2011: We have a PhD student in the school ready to take this on as a practical case study, his main topic being the enveloping of office buildings as a retrofit measure. He is more interested in the insulation and re-glazing than in the heat pumps.