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Landsec’s Office 1.0 aims for net zero first

30 July 2020
CGI of how The Forge is expected to look

A new Landsec project in Southwark, which is being built with a platform-led approach to design and construction, is set to be the UK’s first net zero carbon commercial building, the developer says.

The Forge, previously known as 105 Sumner St, SE1, a 139,000 sq ft office development in Southwark, will become 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, according to Landsec. 

As reported by CM in March this year, the development will be built using a platform system, known as P-DfMA (Platform for Design, Manufacture and Assembly), which consists of a set 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 calls its approach ‘Office 1.0’.

The developer will work alongside tech-led design practice Bryden Wood, and design development and prototyping company Easi-Space. They have together been awarded funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to deliver what they claim will be the world’s first ever office building using a P-DfMA approach.

A trial led by Landsec, Bryden Wood and Easi-Space 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.

Sam Stacey, challenge director for the Transforming Construction Challenge at UK Research and Innovation, said: “The work that Landsec has achieved in building what aims to be the UK’s first net zero carbon commercial building is an excellent example of the type of projects the UKRI Transforming Construction challenge is looking to support. With its innovative platform technique and ‘kit of parts’ approach it embodies what the future of construction will be. Such approaches are essential to the transformation of the construction sector. It’s ambitious target to be a net zero carbon business by 2030 reflects the challenge’s aim for the construction sector, with buildings constructed with half the lifetime carbon emissions.”

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.”