Red Kite House in Wallingford integrates numerous best practice environmental features

Red Kite House is a 3.000m2 office building at Howbery Park, Wallingford and was designed to house the Environment Agency’s offices. The Environment Agency's West Area headquarters has been based at Howbery Park since 1993. Until Red Kite House was built, 250 staff working for the area were dispersed between eight different buildings. The buildings lacked internal flexibility, they were inefficient in their use of energy and water, and the distances between them hampered effective and efficient team work. The Environment Agency decided to move into a single building that offered more flexibility and was more efficient in its use of resources.

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Natural ventilation


Wallingford, Great Britain


Commercial Buildings

Project Type

New build

Controls & Technology

NV Advance



Project partners

Scott Brownrigg

Designing with natural ventilation

The building was designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating with carbon emissions 26% below the Department of Environment’s benchmark standard. The design incorporated many best practice environmental features including photovoltaic cells, solar panels, rainwater harvesting system, motorised clerestory windows and a sustainable drainage system. Red Kite House is naturally ventilated and relies on thoughtful and innovative design features to provide the cooling required. The building is a curved shape and is orientated to capture the wind. This maximises airflow through the building and this supports the cooling processes. High-level exposed concrete ceilings on each floor act as a heat sink during the day. They are cooled by air entering through 100 motorized windows on each floor (more than 290 window actuators). Roof-mounted turbines draw air in through the windows on the top floor, which is the most vulnerable floor to overheating in the summer.

Red Kite House


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