Developer claims commercial development in central London will be first to meet UK Green Building Council's net zero standards
Landsec is planning what it claims will be the UK's first net zero commercial development in London, which it said would harness a "platform-led" design kit approach to drive down construction and design costs while delivering significant waste and carbon savings.
The property developer has clinched funding from government agency Innovate UK to develop the project alongside architectural firm Brydon Wood and development design and prototyping company Easi-Space, it revealed on Wednesday.
The company claims the 139,000 square foot office building in Southwark, dubbed The Forge, will be the first in the world to be both constructed and operated using the UK Green Building Council's (UKGBC's) net zero buildings framework.
Landsec chief executive Mark Allan said firm's plan to be a net zero carbon business by 2030 required "making changes to the way we do things now".
"We know that property companies have a vital role to play in addressing the climate emergency," he added. "We're clear, therefore, that our sustainability strategy must be deeply embedded in our development programme and we will continue to be ambitious in our approach."
Construction of the building has been designed to generate less waste and CO2 and use fewer materials than a traditional building project, thanks to a "platform-led approach" to design and construction, according to Landsec.
"The platform system, known as P-DfMA (Platform for Design, Manufacture and Assembly), consists of a set of components that can be efficiently combined to produce highly customised structures, enabling different kinds of spaces to be built with just a single 'kit of parts'," the company explained. "The new approach has been identified by the government as essential to the transformation of the construction sector."
Following a trial run of the new construction approach, project partners estimate that it could cut costs down to a third of traditional construction techniques.
Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at UKGBC, applauded Landsec's plans and urged other development firms to follow suit. "The Forge is a ground-breaking development and testament to Landsec's desire to tackle the climate crisis head on," she said. "Developers, construction firms, architects and occupiers must start working together at scale to deliver buildings like this that minimise whole life carbon and contribute to meaningful progress in the battle against climate change."
Landsec, which in November became the first Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to align its carbon reduction target to a 1.5C warming pathway, said The Forge would be the first of many net zero commercial developments, as it plans to align all its future developments with UKGBC's net zero carbon buildings framework.
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