Transport for Wales HQ
- 68,000 ft2
- 77% second life furniture
- 90,000 kgCO2e carbon emissions saved
- 31.8 tonnes of waste avoided
- 1 award
- 4 long term unemployed with disabilities engaged
TfW’s headquarters building in Pontypridd was commissioned to seamlessly bring together the public, government and the private sector to innovate in public transport delivery. The interior design facilitates this collaboration and innovation, while achieving value for money and demonstrating sustainability leadership.
The building includes four innovation rooms, a library-themed quiet working area, town square, casual working zones, a flexible public use/enquiry space, external and internal meeting rooms, bike storage, showers and drying rooms.
Transport for Wales was set up in 2016 to ‘Keep Wales Moving’ by delivering expert advice, customer-focused services and targeted investment in modern transport infrastructure. It encompasses train and bus services throughout Wales, as well as active travel including cycling and walking.
Responsible furniture sourcing
30% of the furniture was sourced from two pre-existing Transport for Wales offices, seamlessly integrated into the design of the new office. An additional 47% of the furniture was remanufactured, and 16% was made new by local manufacturers in South Wales.
This approach reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 90,000 kgCO2e and reused 31.8 tonnes of furniture.
Sustainable furniture innovation
The Intercept sofa by Rype Office debuted for this project, with its post-consumer waste plastic frame and recycled fabric upholstery.
The project also featured recycled plastic coffee tables with tops made from post-consumer waste plastic (specifically kitchen chopping boards and black bin bags) as well as Rype Zero task chairs.
Social value created
The Merthyr Tydfil for the Blind manufactured the frames for most of the sofas and booths, corner units and all desktops. MTIB’s workshop resized and refinished return desktops creating modern straight desks which are more space-efficient. Damaged tops were cut down to make toppers for cabinets, reducing waste and costs.
MTIB also recruited, administered and supervised the project team, accessing those furthest from the workforce. Four local long term unemployed with disabilities were engaged for the 16 week duration of the project. Paid Real Living Wages or above, the team was trained in furniture clearance, remanufacturing and installation.
Connection with nature
Plants feature throughout the offices because:
- Their leaves absorb VOCs and move them down to the roots, where microbes get to work and break them down. NASA research showed that, over a 24-hour period, indoor plants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxins.
- They release phytochemicals that suppress mould spores and bacteria by as much as 50 to 60 per cent.
- They regulate humidity, releasing about 97 per cent of the water they absorb, which is great for human health and wellbeing, especially in winter when central heating sucks moisture from circulating air.
- Plants improve mental health and productivity by appealing to our love of nature (biophilia).
Thanks to reuse and remanufacturing, Transport for Wales was able to afford booths and meeting table frames from Vitra, stand-alone meeting pods and Cwtch booths from Orangebox, and Herman Miller desks and coworking chairs.
Following completion, the building was awarded the Prosperous Future Generations Award 2021.