Vanarama’s new HQ

This Monday we joined Vanarama at their Champagne breakfast to celebrate moving into their new building in Maylands, Hemel Hempstead.  It was an honour to be asked to be there and it was great to witness the gasps and ‘nesting’ of staff as they realised that this was indeed their desk/training room/café…

Prior to being purchased by Vanarama, this landmark two storey 2000sqm building had stood empty for four years. Consequently the entire infrastructure – in particular electrics, heating and ventilation – needed replacing.  Its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating was the lowest possible at G and though the structure was very sound, considerable works were required to improve this rating.

Once internal demolitions had been completed we had, in effect, two 1000sqm blank canvases in which to house the business and to prepare for its future growth.  The initial brief not only included offices for the current Vanarama offer, but needed to take into account that offer’s development and growth into new sectors. We also needed to allow for extensive training and health & wellbeing facilities, together with a café able to cater for the entire workforce.   To add to this we suggested the construction of a brand new external garden to complement the café. Throughout the design phase Yellow Yoyo’s Bryan Wright worked closely with Vanarama’s CEO, Andy Alderson on every aspect of the design, planning and cost control.

In April 2016 we began what became a period of 2 months of analysis in terms of technology and costings, before settling on the core new infrastructure and structural change programme for the building.   Tender preparation took place in June and the tender in July.  All contractors were agreed in August and site works began in September, The tender and negotiation process culminated in the formation of an exceptional team of consultants and contractors, and resulted in the project being completed in the shortest time possible under the project management of Bryan Wright of Yellow Yoyo and the exceptional talents of the main contractor, Dom Naylor of Flow Solutions.

Contractors were given the ambitious programme of construction completion within 4 months, in readiness for a planned opening in early 2017.

To support the client’s request for a twenty first century building, fit for purpose and in line with the overall excellence of the brand, the building includes all new double glazed internal and external window units, all new lighting, heating and ventilation that is fully customisable to all zones of the building through a services management system.   This, combined with energy recovery through solar panels and further works to the building fabric, leads to it now boasting an EPC rating of B.


“Of all of the stages of our incredible growth, this has probably been the most bold and complex.  Notwithstanding the structural and ecological improvements required to create an excellent twenty first century building, we also had to cater for an exponential growth in staff and the services and products that we offer.

I couldn’t think of a better company to work with to ensure that this happened than Yellow Yoyo, who have been instrumental in our brand’s development and with whom we have had a fantastic working relationship since 2013.

They worked very closely with us to perfect all elements of the planning and design, choice of finishes and overall look and feel. Their design and innovation, project management and support throughout this complex process was exemplary.”

Andy Alderson,  Founder and CEO of Vanarama