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tonne reduction in Embodied carbon


lower CO2 emissions than typical office

Tower Bridge Court sets standard for reuse of building materials

TBC.London is one of London’s first net zero carbon workspaces, achieving the highest levels of building performance by eliminating carbon from its construction and operation.

Driven by the developer FORE’s commitment to retrofit, TBC.London is anticipated to use 6,365 fewer tons of CO2 compared to a new build, equivalent to 32 years of operational energy after completion in 2024.

Designed by architects Stiff + Trevillion, and ECE, the building’s energy performance is forecast to shift from EPC D to A rating and is on course to achieve BREEAM Outstanding certification, placing TBC.London among the top 2% of BREEAM certified buildings in the world.

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FORE Partnership wanted to deliver a benchmark building with a reduced carbon footprint on a tight restrictive site.” Willmott Dixon made this ambition happen with innovative execution and stakeholder collaboration. For instance, early engagement with demolition partners was key to understand the reusable building materials that might be available to reclaim and include them into the project plan. Willmott Dixon also worked with the developers to re-purpose elements from the original building, such as bricks, and demolition materials, re-using handrails and other fixtures.

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Collaboration between supply chain partners flagged the potential to reuse steel from the demolition of the House of Fraser building on Oxford Street (right), which was incorporated into the project by our steel frame contractor and structural engineers.

As a result of this ‘urban mining’ process, TBC.London is the first UK construction project to reuse steel from a pre-1940s building. It includes the largest percentage of a structure ever constructed with reclaimed material, with 20% of the steel used in the project coming from either the former House of Fraser department store on Oxford Street or via our supply chain partner Cleveland Steel.

The reuse of this steel was not without its challenges because, while protocols currently exist for reuse of structural steel from the 1970s onwards, steel older than this requires testing and recertification. Furthermore, the steel supplied was riveted, and, in some cases, encased in concrete, which meant some was unusable on the project. Overall, 16 tonnes of steel were reclaimed for use at TBC.London, saving 48 tonnes of embodied carbon compared to virgin steel. That’s equivalent to driving a car around the earth 50 times, or the annual carbon absorbed by 20 acres of trees. Our supply chain partner, Four Bay Structures, took away, cleaned, tested, certified, prepared and then delivered all the reclaimed steel to site. The remaining steel on the project comes with a minimum of 56% recycled content, helping to further reduce embodied carbon.

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To remind the building’s occupants about the steel’s previous life, the reclaimed beams, which sport distinctive rivet holes, will be left exposed in the completed building.

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Matt Adams, Senior Operations Manager at Willmott Dixon, said: “FORE Partnership have serious ambition when it comes to tackling the challenge of climate change which aligns with our own Now or Never strategy. The phrase circular economy is becoming more prevalent in the industry and FORE’s idea to reuse steel from another demolition project and incorporate it in TBC.London was innovative.

"There were a number of challenges that we were faced with concerning testing requirements, structural engineers sign off and collaborating with our competitors, but the team pulled together and overcame these issues to deliver, what we believe, is a first in the UK.

"Four Bay Structures, our long term supply chain partner were open and receptive to the challenge and made arrangements to collect the steel from the House of Fraser project and get it tested and installed at TBC. In total we’ve reused 16 tonnes of steel that has had a past life in another building. The circular economy is becoming a real resource and I hope that this initiative paves the way for more methods of reducing carbon output."

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TBC.London’s innovative approach to sustainability goes far beyond the carbon saved in construction. By using 100% electric heating and cooling systems, like heat pumps and in-floor HVAC systems, the building avoids fossil fuel all together. TBC.London also reduces water consumption through low flow fittings and grey water and rainwater harvesting systems. Externally sourced electricity comes solely from solar, wind, and biomass generators. Another renewable energy source is our on-site solar panels, which produce 30,000 kWh/year, equivalent to 7% of the building’s total energy demand. Together with smart building management tech and efficient lighting, the result is a low energy intensity building that uses less than 45 kWh/m2 GIA /year on base build, compared to over 200 kWh/m2/year in an average office. That’s 71% less operational emissions than a typical office. Embodied carbon emissions are anticipated to be as low as 265 kgCO2e/m2, which puts the project in LETI Band A, well above the current ‘average’ building design.

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Basil Demeroutis, Manager Partner of FORE, commented: “TBC.London is an exemplary new type of work environment, set to drive positive, systemic change by linking together social and environmental outcomes, which in turn are deeply linked to positive physical and mental wellbeing among our tenants and the wider community.”

TBC.London is due to complete in summer 2024 and Willmott Dixon is keen to explore and support opportunity to reuse structural steel and other materials where feasible on further projects.

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