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Plans Progress to Convert Landmark Cardiff Building Into New Sustainable Offices


A landmark city centre building in Cardiff is being given a full refurbishment and a sustainable upgrade to provide next generation office space that will be opening in August. 

Work is well underway on the newly rebranded Coal House, which was formerly Dumfries House on Dumfries Place, to transform it into a sustainable office development with an industrial chic aesthetic by investor and developer Create Real Estate.

When complete, Coal House will offer between 3,000 – 30,000 sq. ft of flexible office space that is highly sustainable and focuses on tenant wellbeing.  The scheme looks to balance maximum retention of embodied carbon whilst vastly reducing in-use carbon emissions.  Powered entirely by renewable energy, in part from solar panels, it will be fitted with the latest smart building technology to monitor occupancy trends, energy usage and air quality which will enable tenants to easily report how they are meeting their environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets.

There will be eight electric vehicle charging points, communal bikes, generous bike storage, car parking, showers and changing facilities.  The building is being designed to meet key environmental and well-being credentials – it will be targeting BREEAM Very Good, EPC B, Wired Score and Cycle Score Gold as well as AirRated and Fitwell accreditation.

The interior of Coal House echoes the sustainable theme by using biophilic design principles and a natural palette to maximise the sense of light and enhance well-being.  The interior, designed by creative agency Run For The Hills, includes an airy wood panelled atrium with coffee bar with stylish leather seating, concrete-effect flooring and brass industrial-style lighting.

The comfortable lounge area includes bookable Zoom rooms and meeting spaces that provide an inspiring and informal shared space for tenants and clients to socialise and collaborate.  Unique to Coal House will be its own in-house App Coalhouse.Life which enables tenants to easily book rooms, order food and access the social and events programme.

Marchmont House and Dumfries House, on Dumfries Place, were purchased by Create Real Estate last year from Sydney & London Properties Ltd.

Ricky Humphreys, director at Create Real Estate said:

“Work is progressing rapidly to transform this prominent but dated building in central Cardiff into a contemporary, sustainable office space where environmentally-conscious, forward-thinking businesses can thrive.  Powered entirely by renewable energy, this low carbon building has been thoughtfully designed to maximise opportunities for social collaboration with a chic coffee bar, plenty of meeting spaces, access to food delivery services and everything bookable via our bespoke in-house app – a first for the city.

“Cardiff offers an amazing quality of life, so it is no wonder that so many professionals are moving here and the area is becoming a hot spot for entrepreneurs and growing.  With such high demand for top spec office space in the city, we are expecting a lot of immediate interest.”

The space is being marketed by Savills Cardiff office and Knight Frank Cardiff Office.

Mark Sutton, Office Agency Partner at Knight Frank said: 

“As businesses commit to their future occupational strategies, we are seeing occupiers demanding more from their office space than ever before. This is not only in terms of its aesthetic appeal and the provision of additional amenities but also in the buildings energy performance – delivering a green agenda and enabling companies to attract and retain the best talent”

Gary Carver, Director at Savills Cardiff said: 

“The delivery of the Coal House will see a complete transformation, providing a working environment with the credentials and flexibility to accommodate occupiers seeking best in class office space in Cardiff city centre.”

Create Real Estate is focused on identifying opportunities in regional UK cities where the fundamentals of a property are very strong, but significant investment is required to unlock its full potential.