Property developer turns to modular construction and UKGBC’s net zero carbon buildings framework in bid to create the UK’s first net zero office block.
The Forge, a 139,000 sq ft office development in Southwark, previously known as 105 Sumner Street, will be constructed using the P-DfMA (Platform for Design, Manufacture and Assembly), which consists of components that can be combined to produce highly customised structures, enabling different kinds of spaces to be built with just a single ‘kit of parts’.
Landsec in partnership with tech-led design practice Bryden Wood, and design development and prototyping company Easi-Space, have together been awarded funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to deliver what will be the world’s first ever office building using a platform-led approach to design and construction.
The approach, which has been previously championed by Laing O’Rourke was identified by government in its Construction 2025 strategy as essential to the transformation of the construction sector. A prototype Bryden Wood’s Construction Platforms Research Centre saw construction productivity improved by 55%, installation time reduced by 30% and cost savings are expected to reach 33% when compared to traditional construction techniques.
The result is a structure that uses less material, creates less waste, and has an almost 20% reduction in carbon impact.
In February 2020, Neil Pennel, Landsec’s Head of Design Innovation and property Solutions told Construction Manager that the company’s aim was to become a “fundamentally different developer” and called their approach ‘Office 0.1’.
“This is not about creating identikit buildings that look the same,” he told the magazine, explaining that the standard kit of parts can be assembled “in countless ways to create a huge range of different spaces and aesthetics, without limiting design ambition.”
Landsec’s ambition is for The Forge to be the first building in the UK to be verified in line with UKGBC’s framework for constructing and operating net zero buildings. All Landsec’s future developments will be aligned to the framework, which seeks to reduce construction impacts such as embodied carbon, the reduction of operational energy use, increase of renewables and offsetting any remaining carbon.
All of Landsec’s future developments will be built to, and operate in line with, UKGBC’s net zero carbon buildings framework.
The Forge, a 139,000 sq ft office development in Southwark, previously known as 105 Sumner Street, aspires to be the first commercial building to be both constructed and operated in line with the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) net zero carbon buildings framework and associated energy performance targets. There is not currently a building in the UK that has been verified in line with UKGBC’s framework that is net zero in both construction and operation.
Developing a net zero carbon building is a meaningful way of addressing scope 3 emissions – those that are a consequence of a company’s actions, but which occur at sources that the company does not own or control. Construction activities account for a large part of the development industry’s scope 3 emissions and include supply-chain emissions arising from extraction of resources, the manufacturing of products, the transportation of materials and the assembly of a building.
Mark Allan, Chief Executive, Landsec, said: “Our target is to be a net zero carbon business by 2030. That means we have to start 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. 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.”