The client, CAE Electronics, had very specific requirements including space for full flight simulators for all major aircraft types, as well as training facilities for civilian, military and marine personnel.
The site is adjacent to the main road from Burgess Hill on a pivotal point between the countryside and an existing industrial area. The building and its landscaping are arranged to facilitate inward and outward views and to reduce impact on the environment. The configuration of office space is influenced by the adoption of a low energy design.
The building uses passive cooling to integrate architecture, structure and services so that each moderates the internal climate and contributes to occupant comfort. The scheme is serviced by a low energy ventilation system with opening windows and simple control systems including giant 8m high, automated stainless steel shutters to control solar gain. The office building is constructed from a pre-cast concrete frame for speed of erection, low cost (the moulds for the frame were recycled), a high thermal mass and single span open plan offices.
The building was designed to be flexible and built further as the company expanded. It was extended in 2010 to house 13 civil and business full flight simulators, with further capacity to grow to 16.