3 Central Square, Construction, Cardiff, UK

3 Central Square

State-of-the-art development is an exemplar for technological efficiencies and sustainable solutions
  • Customer
  • Procurement Route
    Single stage (Negotiated)
  • Completion Date
    April 2018
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Value
  • Form Of Contract
    JCT 11 Design and Build
  • Project Manager
  • Structural Engineer
  • Area
    Circa 200,000sq ft, excluding plant and basement areas
  • Program Duration
    122 weeks
  • Architect
    Fosters and Partners
  • ME Engineer


In the heart of Cardiff, the historic development of BBC Cymru Wales headquarters saw us successfully complete the project on programme and on budget, whilst achieving industry recognised sustainability targets and specific acoustic goals. Driven by Rigthacres, BBC Wales and Fosters & Partners, the project was finished to high specifications (both in terms of performance and aesthetics), reflected in the impressive central open atrium which provides both impact and natural light at the entrance of the headquarters.

To view internal drone footage of the project click here

For a virtual tour of the project click here


What we did

The state-of-the-art BBC Cymru Wales headquarters is the most advanced regional hub in the broadcaster’s portfolio and the very first BBC facility in the UK to use live IP Technology. The striking building is the centre piece for the wider redevelopment of the Cardiff gateway and is the anchor for the whole Central Square development. We provided a robust approach to value engineering and made significant efficiencies in relation to cost, complexity and improved speed of delivery, helping us achieve the all-important on-time completion within budget, whilst preserving client objectives and build quality.


Making it happen

The 122-week programme saw ISG create a 75,000 sq ft basement structure by installing secant piles and excavating approximately 50,000 cubic metres of material, which was removed and re-used off site. The building uses a hybrid structure, with a reinforced concrete frame to ground floor level, concrete cores and a 2,000 tonne steel frame superstructure for the upper floors.

Within the shell, the internal spaces follow a cellular design with the broadcast centre providing box-in-box studios which achieve the vital high levels of acoustic attenuation in studio spaces.

The project also focused heavily on community development and was awarded a Gold national site award by the Considerate Constructors Scheme for best practice in the construction industry. The project team actively engaged with local charities and community groups throughout the development, ensuring that it was viewed positively by neighbours and visitors to the city centre as they disembarked at Cardiff Central station.

“To hand a building over of this scale and complexity exactly on time and budget is an amazing achievement. We signed the agreement for the lease back in December 2014 and the predicted handover date was today – it has been a fantastic effort by all parties”.

Alan Bainbridge, Director of Property, BBC


Making a difference

Sustainability and environmental design were important considerations for the BBC, with them challenging the team to achieving a ‘BREEAM Outstanding’ environmental rating. As the foremost assessment for environmental sustainability it consists of a multi-criterion audit process throughout preconstruction, delivery, and handover. Criteria such as carbon output, energy and water usage were taken into consideration.

Sustainable features of the building include energy-generating photovoltaic cells, rainwater harvesting elements and a roof-top ecological garden.