Circular and Healthy
The core principles of this central London refurbishment were Total Impact Analysis and Health & Wellbeing. Together, they created the strongest possible pillars for circular, people-focused design.
The client team decided not to pursue certification on this project, not least because the starting point for the key principles were more challenging than any relevant certification scheme we could find. The combination of a total impact philosophy, combined with people-led design and materials, led to one of the most challenging, and rewarding, frameworks we have ever worked on.
The project also enshrined its core principles at the very start of the design work, embedding transparency, technology and health at the forefront. As such, the final sustainability report will hold all our feet to the fire, detailing all the positive impacts we have made as well as those which were not ultimately implemented.
Information on all the elements incorporated into the final scheme will also be made available to the end users of the building, linking the design and construction project with the people occupying the spaces.
One of the key commitments was to -reuse (as opposed to simply recycle) as much of existing building as possible: firstly, incorporated into the new design, secondly, elsewhere within the project, and thirdly, via a managed de-fit strategy.
Working closely with Arineos and Globechain, and reinforced by the Client's inherent commitment to the core sustainability principles of the project - including quantified social, environmental and health benefits - will soon be published as a case study.
Open Days allowed potential 'takers' to view the entire contents of the building before the de-fit began. This way, we knew that individual elements had a home to go to as they were taken out. With the support of the on-site team and the demolition contractor, a smooth process was set up which allowed a safe, efficient removal chain to be established.
What did we learn? How to break the mould.
Define the project principles at the outset, within the whole project team, and apply these consistently through design, construction and operation.
Keep asking WHY? Why do we need this? Why can't it be re-used on site or elsewhere? Why can't it be made in a different way, using different materials which have a positive impact? The impact on the supply chain will be significant!
Honesty first. Not everything is possible. We would have liked a net positive, regenerative building in the middle of one of the busiest areas of London. However, the learning experience of assessing a multitude of options, whether ultimately possible or not, was critical to the project.'s success.
People who are bucking the status quo and forging new methods and materials are usually connected to others who are doing the same. The power of the network was astounding on this project and enabled us to push the boundaries of the 'normal way to do things' even further. We were part of a hand-picked team committed to the project's goals, some of whom are featured on our Game Changers page.
On the way!
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For more information The Conduit, please see the Game Changers page.