Landsec to develop ‘UK’s first’ net-zero carbon commercial building

The Forge office development in Southwark 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.

Landsec believes that 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 the extraction of resources, the manufacturing of products, the transportation of materials and the assembly of a building.

All of Landsec’s future developments will be built to, and operate in line with, UKGBC’s net-zero carbon buildings framework. 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.

Platform for Design, Manufacture and Assembly

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 new approach has been identified by the government as essential to the transformation of the construction sector.

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.

A ground-breaking development

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.”

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at UKGBC, said: “40% of the UK’s carbon emissions are attributable to the built environment and so as a sector, we need to be pursuing aggressive rates of decarbonisation.

“The Forge is a ground-breaking development and testament to Landsec’s desire to tackle the climate crisis head-on.

“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.”