The Roots in the Sky scheme will convert the Blackfriars Crown Court into the capital’s greenest office block, featuring the UK’s first rooftop urban forest.
Mace will deliver the main contract for the project with Erith delivering the basement box and demolition works as part of a two-stage construction process. Construction will commence in January 2023.
“Roots in the Sky represents a step-change for the future of the office market,” said Clive Nichol, CEO at Fabrix.
“The commitment to quality shown by Mace and Erith, as well as to the building’s purpose and its very unique ESG proposition, demonstrated to us that they are the right team as we start on site on this transformational project,” he added.
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.
Covering a total of 430,000 sq ft, Roots in the Sky will provide over 280,000 sq ft of net lettable area alongside 46,000 sq ft of external terraces, including a fully publicly accessible garden.
Among its many sustainability credentials, the building will be built using reclaimed steel from the demolition of another building. Fabrix, which is the first UK developer ever to purchase second-hand steel for structural reuse, say this “sets a new benchmark for the circular economy.”
Using the existing footings and retaining the first two storeys of the 1960s Blackfriars Crown Court, the proposed scheme introduces 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.
Gareth Lewis, Mace’s CEO for Construction, said: “We are honoured to have been trusted to deliver a development which challenges the bounds of modern sustainability and gives back to its local community.
“As a responsible business we are particularly proud when we successfully deliver schemes which are strong in social value. We look forward to playing our part in making this bold vision a reality in the thriving Southwark area; working collaboratively with the exceptional team that Fabrix has built to deliver this scheme.”
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Steven May, Director at Erith, added: “We are delighted to have been awarded the enabling, basement and core construction works package at Project Roots in the Sky for Fabrix, bringing our extensive experience of technically complex central London projects to this world-class development.
“The project’s aims align with our strategic objectives of sustainability and wellbeing whilst interacting positively with the local communities in the surrounding area.”
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