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London’s most sustainable construction projects 2023

by BDigital_Admin

Sustainable construction is an approach to construction that centres the use of recyclable and renewable materials and the minimisation of energy consumption and waste in building projects.

Sustainable construction is important because it helps to minimise the negative impacts of the construction industry on the environment and society, and create better places for people to live and work.

The built environment accounts for almost 40% of global emissions and uses vast quantities of natural resources, so finding ways to reduce its footprint is crucial.

Sustainable construction methods include the use of low-carbon materials, renewable energies, and green infrastructure, and the adoption of sustainable and circular design principles.

Adopting sustainable construction methods is not an overnight process, and is often constrained (or enabled) by the clients’ attitudes and available budget.

The good news is that clients are increasingly demanding buildings that are designed, built and operated sustainably. Developers are increasingly aware that taking a lead on sustainability enhances business reputation, retains and attracts customers, investors and staff, and enhances market value.

London is taking the lead in this respect, with some of the world’s most sustainable construction projects currently underway in the capital.

Here’s our pick of the London’s most sustainable construction projects to watch in 2023, with a focus on mixed-use and office developments.

8 Bishopsgate

Left of image – 8 Bishopsgate stands next to its taller neighbour, 22 Bishopsgate, which is also under construction.

8 Bishopsgate is a new development in the heart of the City that will create 913,000 sq ft gross area including workspace, occupier amenity, street-level retail, and a public viewing gallery on the 50th floor. 

Under development by Mitsubishi Estate and Stanhope, with Lendlease managing construction, the 50-story 200-metre-high skyscraper is slated to become London’s most sustainable tall office tower.

The building is being developed to achieve low embodied carbon and be low-carbon in operation, featuring the highest solar panels in London, advanced floor-by-floor air filtering, light-responsive blinds that reduce cooling demands, and rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling, with rainwater filtered and reused for irrigation and toilet flushing to reduce water consumption.

The design has 30% less structural embodied carbon compared with other London tall building benchmarks.

Currently under construction, the skyscraper is set to open sometime this year and will become an iconic feature of London’s rapidly developing skyline.

Roots in the Sky


The Roots in the Sky scheme will convert the Blackfriars Crown Court in London into the capital’s greenest office block, featuring the UK’s first rooftop urban forest.

Designed by Sheppard Robson, the all-electric building will be net zero carbon in both construction and operation and is targeting BREEAM Outstanding, WELL Platinum and NABERS 5 ratings.

Among its many sustainability credentials, the building will be constructed using reclaimed steel from the demolition of another building.

Using the existing footings and retaining the first two storeys of the 1960s Blackfriars Crown Court, the proposed scheme will use a lightweight hybrid steel and cross-laminated timber frame, with the ability to support the urban forest and its 1,300 tonnes of soil and 1.5-metre deep tree pits.

The extensive reuse of materials, retrofit of the existing building and adoption of a timber frame all help to reduce the embodied carbon footprint of the scheme.

Investor Fabrix has appointed main contractor Mace and enabling works contractor Erith to deliver the £180m scheme.

Construction will commence in January 2023.



Designed by Fletcher Priest Architects and now under construction in London, the 94,000 sq.ft Edenica office development at 100 Fetter Lane is on track to set a significant sustainability precedent for UK commercial buildings.

The scheme is harnessing the latest design techniques to optimise operational energy efficiency and slash embodied carbon, but perhaps most notably is its adoption of materials passports.

Edenica’s materials passports will become a record of the building elements, providing data of the materials, products, and components that have been used. These records will enable the reuse of materials during the building’s operation or at the end of its life, turning the used materials into resources instead of waste.

In an industry responsible for around a third of the world’s waste, adopting circular principles can go a long way to making the industry more sustainable.

Edenica is due to complete in 2024.  

The William


The William will be built using cross-laminated timber, making it one of London’s largest timber developments and architect Foster + Partners’ first timber office in the capital.

The construction of The William is projected to be BREEAM Outstanding, and the building will be operationally net-zero carbon upon completion.

As the industry seeks to reduce the impact of embodied carbon, mass timber has increasingly captured the spotlight as a green alternative to traditional steel and concrete.

Mass timber produces 30% fewer CO2 emissions than concrete buildings, and 50% fewer emissions when compared to steel buildings.

Construction on the office block is expected to begin in 2023 and complete in 2026. Laing O’Rourke is lined up as main contractor.

EDGE London Bridge

EDGE London Bridge (pictured centre-left) aims to be London’s most sustainable office tower.

Under development by Edge and Goldman Sachs, the 28-storey EDGE London Bridge office scheme has set an ambitious target of becoming London’s most sustainable office tower.

The 260,000 sq.ft office building will be located on the site of Becket House at 60 St Thomas Street in London.

The office has been designed by architect Pilbrow & Partners to consume less than 23 kWh/sqm to align with the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge operational intensity targets for new-build offices.

The project team is targeting both BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum certification.

Construction is set to begin in this month (January 2023), and will be lead by main contractor Mace, who also built the iconic Shard Tower located a few blocks away.

11 Belgrave Road


This project in Pimlico will overhaul and renew a 1950s office building, with partial reconstruction, new facades, garden courts, and roof terraces to create a net zero office – both in operation and construction.

Designed by Eric Parry, 11 Belgrave Road will retain a significant amount of the existing concrete structure and foundations as part of an overall strategy to substantially reduce the embodied carbon of the development.

Led by engineering consultancy Max Fordham, it has been designed to surpass the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge target by 38%.

The scheme is also the first in the UK to achieve an Excellent 5.5-star NABERS design-reviewed target rating for building efficiency and one of only three in the country to be pre-certified.

The project, under construction by main contractor BAM, is due to complete at the end of 2023.

Read next: Digital construction trends: what to expect in 2023 

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