Last Friday 12th July 2013, Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe joined staff, Trustees and invited guests, for the official opening of Bournville Village Trust’s new Head Office situated on Bournville Lane in Birmingham.
The move heralds a new era for BVT, centralising all support services and indeed many front line services in Birmingham under one roof, providing residents with a one stop shop for most of the housing and estate management services provided by the Trust.
The Head Office is now home to over 100 BVT staff, providing an open and welcoming work environment.
The building, that has been part of the BVT property portfolio for some time, has been renovated, with the majority of materials specified on the project meeting the BREEAM A or A+ ratings.
Committed to creating a ‘green’ and sustainable environment, the new HQ has a number of energy saving features including a new highly insulated aluminium twin skin roof and thermally broken double glazed aluminium high performance windows.
Commenting on the new home for BVT, Duncan Cadbury, Chairman of the Trust said; “This is a significant step forward. I have already seen great improvements in the way that our staff communicate with each other and our customers. We are an extremely diverse business and one that relies on effective communication. “
Throughout the three storey building, a new highly efficient LED lighting system has been installed. The office lighting level (lux) is automatically regulated depending on the ambient light levels. The lighting system also incorporates motion detection, meaning only occupied areas are lit when they need to be.
Two energy efficient boilers provide regulated heat within the building, with thermostatically controlled radiators on each floor, ensuring the building does not overheat.
As the local MP for Selly Oak, Steve McCabe was invited to conduct the official opening of the 1960’s building. Talking of its significance to community stability, Mr McCabe said; “BVT provides so much more than just housing. Its commitment to building cohesive communities is something we need to applaud. Their sensitivity to open spaces and dedication to well-planned and well thought out design is the way ahead.”
Bringing everyone together has meant that BVT can extend its commitment to sustainability. Not only has the move cut down on travel between sites, staff now have access to an electric powered pool car, helping to improve the Trust’s carbon footprint. Other initiatives centred on the green agenda include a ‘cycle to work week’, a commitment to healthy eating and the establishment of an Apiary in the grounds which is in the hands of expert local beekeepers.
During the opening, guests were given guided tours around the building by a number of BVT staff. Tours covered everything from the new BVT library and open plan customer services department to the new bistro and gardens which includes 3 new bee hives. It is hoped that the bees will produce honey next year once the colony has settled and established.
Local Vicar Peter Babington said; “I am delighted that the Trust has relocated to this building. It’s been empty for some time. It really does place them at the centre of the Bournville community.”
Committed to delivering excellent customer service, the new HQ has enabled BVT to redefine how they deliver front line services. Residents and tenants now have one dedicated contact number backed by a centralised team of customer service specialists that will handle all enquiries. This new approach will mean that all enquiries will be handled more efficiently, cutting down response times and avoiding the need for customers to make unnecessary trips to disparate offices across South Birmingham.
Commenting on the move, Peter Roach, Chief Executive of the Trust said; “Moving home or office can be a very stressful experience. My team has worked incredibly hard to meet our official moving in date and I am delighted with how smoothly our office move has gone. Our new HQ will help us place our customers at the heart of what we do, enabling us to remain at the forefront in delivering first class services to our local community.