CASE STUDY | The Kensington Building
Designed by architects Pilbrow & Partners, the Kensington Building has transformed the site of a historical London department store into a workspace with exceptional sustainability credentials.
Kensington Building at a glance
Developer: AshbyCapital and Janson Urban
Use type: Office and retail
Size: 95,000 sq ft
The Kensington Building is one of London’s most sustainable new office developments. The site of the old Pontings department store – latterly a tired office building – has been transformed into a six-storey mixed-use scheme providing 95,000 sq ft of what the developers call “next-generation” office space. Sustainability has been prioritised in the building’s ongoing operation. A partnership with Carbon Intelligence, Kendra and SkySpark is fine-tuning the building’s energy performance by capturing and analysing data from smart sensors to reduce operating costs, energy demand and carbon impact, as well as optimising the internal environment to improve health, wellbeing and productivity. Meanwhile 12,300 sq ft of landscaped terraces and beehives contribute towards ecology and biodiversity.
Features and impact
• By reusing and repurposing 60% of existing structure and foundations, embodied carbon was reduced by 30% compared to a typical new-build office. This saved 4,500 tonnes of CO2 emitted – equivalent to 7,200 return flights from London to New York
• 100% of demolition and excavation waste was diverted from landfill, alongside 99% of construction waste
• 100% of electricity comes from carbon neutral sources
• The target energy intensity for the building is 90kWhₑ per sq m, which is 30% better than the current UKGBC target, while the best-case scenario is 48% better than the current UKGBC target and in-line with the net zero benchmark for 2030-2035
• 12,300 sq ft of landscaped terraces and fully managed beehives (holding up to 120,000 British honeybees which will produce up to 65kg of honey during the high season) contribute towards ecology and biodiversity.
• Full service digital twin and bespoke building app powered by Smart Spaces
• Digital screens provided, installed and managed by 444Digital
• Pointgrab occupancy sensors provide an accurate space utilisation picture
• SkySpark analytics system used to optimise BMS performance and limit wastage
The digital screens are a great asset to the building and enable us to play back energy usage, air quality and sustainability data. We will certainly install more of these going forward. If we were designing the building again today, we would install even more sub-meters and high-level plant interfaces to gain an even better understanding of the granular energy data.