Slough’s regeneration progresses at pace as AshbyCapital and U+I secure support for further phases at The Future Works
• 260,000 sq ft of office and amenity space will target net-zero carbon emissions
• Designed by Sheppard Robson, the buildings offer multiple roof terraces with a kitchen garden and yoga lawn
• Significantly improved public realm includes botanical pavilion and outdoor auditorium
AshbyCapital, the property investment advisory company, and specialist regeneration and property developer, U+I, have successfully received planning consent for No 1 and No 3 The Future Works, a 260,000 sq ft commercial quarter in the heart of Slough adjacent to the Crossrail station. The resolution to grant was made unanimously at a virtual committee on Wednesday 10 March, subject to the satisfactory completion of a Section 106 agreement.
No 1 and No 3 The Future Works continue AshbyCapital and U+I’s collaboration in Slough, which has already seen No 2 The Future Works brought to completion. Located either side of the existing building and completing the office campus, No 1 The Future Works will offer 170,000 sq ft of office and retail space across 12 storeys with roof terraces throughout the building, while No 3 The Future Works comprises 92,000 sq ft of office space including a large communal roof terrace.
At The Future Works AshbyCapital and U+I aim to deliver two of the most sustainable and technologically advanced buildings within the Thames Valley, targeting net-zero carbon emissions, including an ambitious reduction in embodied carbon, and a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ for the office floorspace. The all-electric development will be compatible with future 5th Generation district energy networks and through a range of environmental measures, including integrated PV panels, a high-performance façade and solar control, electric vehicle charging, rainwater harvesting, and site-wide heat reclaim, will exceed a 40% reduction in annual carbon emissions in comparison to an identically-sized average building from the 2000s.
As well as prioritising sustainability, wellness and technology lie at the heart of the new development, which is designed to be WELL ‘Ready’ and is targeting a WiredScore Platinum rating for connectivity and digital infrastructure. Best-in-class amenities include multiple roof terraces offering Wi-Fi connectivity, on-site gym facilities, bicycle parking and generous changing facilities, while biophilic design will improve the connection between occupants and the natural environment. This approach is exemplified through the landscaped roof terraces which include a kitchen garden and yoga lawn.
The designs also include a significantly improved public realm for this new commercial quarter. Three retail units, totalling 4,000 sq ft and located in No 1 The Future Works, will embellish the area’s amenity offering, while the existing environment will be significantly improved through the introduction of an outdoor auditorium, new seating and soft landscaping.
The design was completed by Sheppard Robson, with Lichfields advising on the planning. AshbyCapital and U+I are actively seeking pre-let opportunities for both buildings, with JLL and Cushman & Wakefield appointed as leasing agents.
Peter Ferrari, Chief Executive of AshbyCapital, said: “With one building completed to an exceptional standard, part let, and with strong interest in the remaining space, we’re excited to get the next phase of this major regeneration project underway. Covid-19 has accelerated some trends we were already seeing in the office market: increased flexibility, more widespread use of technology, and a greater focus on collaboration, wellness and community.
“No 1 and No 3 The Future Works will be best-in-class examples of innovative, future-proofed office buildings that facilitate collaboration and prioritise the health and wellbeing of their occupants; perfectly suiting the evolving demands of occupiers. As interest grows in high-quality, well-connected workspaces outside of major city centres, the new phases of The Future Works are ideally placed to capitalise on this demand.”
Paul Patenall, Project Director at U+I, commented: “Slough already has the highest concentration of global headquarters outside London and multiple titles for being a great place to live and work. With the Elizabeth Line and a number of other major regeneration projects underway, the future is bright for Slough. As we all look forward to returning to our town centres and offices, we’re excited to reaffirm our confidence in Slough and breathe renewed life into the heart of this increasingly vibrant town.”
No 2 The Future Works recently became the first building in the UK to receive a Platinum AirScore for its indoor air quality, and both subsequent buildings will also boast exemplary fresh air provision, as well as enhanced natural daylight to boost productivity.
Located next to the town’s contemporary new bus station, The Future Works is moments from Slough railway station, which connects to London Paddington in 16 minutes and will welcome the Elizabeth Line next year with journey times of only 32 minutes to Bond Street.