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Case study: 11 Belgrave Road

10 November 2023

Ilyas Aslam, Chief Operating Officer at Quadrum describes how 11 Belgrave Road combines Net Zero, wellbeing and comfort...

The importance of lessening the built environment’s climate impact has really come to the forefront in recent years, as has enhancing user experience in commercial buildings. Developers are increasingly looking to create sustainable, flexible, high-quality, wellbeing-led and connected spaces that meet the evolving needs and expectations of the next generation of occupier. How can these various elements be successfully integrated to deliver future-proof workplaces?

Quadrum is redeveloping 11 Belgrave Road in Victoria, London to transform a 1950s structure into a blueprint of what a sustainable and people-centric workplace can look like. Due to complete at the start of 2024, it will provide 108,000 sq ft of Net Zero office accommodation, best-in-class facilities including a gym and café serving seasonal, healthy and nutritious food, and 14,000 sq ft of attractive shared space. In addition, a biophilic approach means that employees will benefit from 13,000 sq ft of green spaces, including a private garden, terraces and a rooftop with panoramic views over London’s iconic skyline. 

This scheme brought together a superb project team with diverse expertise and featuring Eric Parry Architects, Gillespies, BAM, Max Fordham and Ekkist. 

Healthy building, heathy planet

We believe that sustainability and employee wellbeing are deeply interlinked, together forming the two essential pillars of a contemporary, fit-for-purpose workplace. At 11 Belgrave, we prioritised non-toxic materials like timber and stone, low-carbon concrete and structural steel; installed intelligent heating and cooling systems that will cut peak heating demand by 40%; and fitted green roofs that buffer rainwater, regulate indoor temperatures and purify the air. Air quality is supported by mixed mode ventilation, which eliminates carbon dioxide and fine dust, and is further complemented by the introduction of pollution-filtering plants, such as ivy, that help to maintain internal temperature while removing toxic pollutants and contributing to cleaner air in the midst of a busy city centre neighbourhood. 

According to the World Green Building Council, better indoor air quality can improve productivity by up to 11% and thermal comfort leads to higher employee satisfaction and wellbeing – as does proximity to nature and green views. At 11 Belgrave, employee comfort is a major focus throughout. From aligning the LED lighting with circadian rhythms and adapting the colour temperature to the natural light at any given time of day, to providing filtered waterpoints on every floor to encourage occupants to keep hydrated. 

Digital technology also plays a principal role here, enabling employees to personalise their experiences via a smart app, for example with a bike booking system and locker control, thereby also promoting a greener commute and healthier lifestyle. Plus, providing the ability to adjust temperatures to match individual preferences in specific spaces. Offering the highest levels of connectivity, 11 Belgrave has a WiredScore Platinum rating, is aiming to be SmartScore Platinum certified and also boasts a high-speed, full coverage fibre network via Vorboss. As well as optimising the employee experience and productivity, these features also help to drive more efficient energy performance. Display screens show users how much energy is being used and gives guidance on how to effectively manage their carbon footprint – an added bonus as businesses and their employees grow more climate-aware than ever. 

Sustainability + wellbeing

When it comes to sustainability, wellbeing and comfort, it does not have to be an ‘either / or’ scenario. The thriving workplace of the future will maximise and combine all these factors to boost the user experience for healthy, happy and motivated employees. When 11 Belgrave  completes early next year, it will take its place as one of the most sustainable workplaces in London – we hope it inspires other investors and developers to aim high, delivering more such spaces, and for occupiers to vote with their feet for better performing buildings all round.

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