Six things you need to know about Ocado’s new head office
Ocado is continuing to grow and change, and while we are used to opening spokes and warehouses, moving to a new head office represented another exciting chapter in the history of Ocado.
1. The number of head office staff has increased tenfold
Ocado first moved to Hatfield in 2004 and twelve years later the size of our head office staff had grown from 120 to over 1,000. This is where Ocado Engineering’s Buildings Technology team came in to help. The picture to the left shows our new head office building based in Trident Place.
2. The office is 150,000 square feet which is 2.5 times larger than St Paul’s Cathedral
I head up Buildings Technology’s Spoke Facilities Management team. Our primary aim is to provide facilities maintenance and deliver infrastructure improvement projects at our spokes. A spoke site is a smaller local storage and distribution site where customer orders are sent before delivery to Ocado’s customers. However, we also manage various office projects across Ocado. In July 2016 my team was asked to manage the technical design, tender, contractor management, cost management and overall development of our new Head Office, Trident Place.
Trident Place was a significant move for Ocado; while our previous head office had two main floors, the new head office in Trident Place is spread over eight floors, two buildings and spans 150,000 square feet! This was the largest project my team had ever worked on and it challenged everyone in the team – this is something we love.
3. Over a third of staff moved in before the building was finished
This project was a challenge for a number of reasons, one being the way it was phased. To ensure a smooth transition from our previous head office, Ocado chose to move our staff in four stages. This meant that from September 2016 to February 2017, we had gradually moved over a third of our staff to Trident Place, with the remaining staff moving in March 2017.
4. We used 440 tons of steel which is equivalent to almost 30 millions drink cans
Another challenge was the limited parking available. We needed to come up with a design to tackle this problem, whilst ensuring we maintained the aesthetics of the business park. Over the course of the build, we constructed 370 pile foundations and used 440 tons of steel for the construction of the car park which is equivalent to almost 30 million drinks cans! The car park is clad with a living green wall to soften its look in the business park and it has an irrigation system which is linked to the local weather station.
5. We are not afraid to put people into the limelight
In Buildings Technology we want to ensure that people feel they are given responsibility and ownership of projects. On this project, we were not afraid to propel one of our rising stars, Jack Doggett, into the limelight as the Engineering Project Manager.
6. The results
We all got great enjoyment out of this project and a fantastic sense of pride. Previously, Ocado head office staff were spread over a number of offices. Since moving into Trident Place, communication between people has improved. It was also important to make sure our head office reflected the maturity and innovative nature of our business. As you can see, the end result has really been something special.
Richard Norton, Construction Manager