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Sustainable Project of the Year: Winner

Winner: Kier Construction – Five Pancras Square, King’s Cross

Austerity budgets and government cuts have meant that local authorities need to manage their budgets carefully.

Camden Council’s new site at Five Pancras Square in King’s Cross, built by Kier Construction, consolidates a number of council premises into a single, more efficient site – not only helping to reduce the council’s running costs, but also lowering its carbon footprint significantly.

The client wanted the building to be sustainable for both of these reasons, dovetailing well with the energy-efficiency agenda at the heart of Argent’s King’s Cross redevelopment.

Client, contractor and the local authority all collaborated closely on the project, with one judge describing the scheme as an “exemplar of good teamwork”, with all parties “embedded in the process”.

In particular, Kier built a mock office for the council to see, allowing it to test layouts and even furniture with the building’s eventual end-user.

The steel and façade subcontractors both went into administration during the project, but the close working relationship between all the major parties ensured the problems were swiftly resolved with no impact on the building’s end delivery date.

Five Pancras Square’s sustainability credentials are clearly evident.

“This project demonstrated outstanding collaboration from design through to in-use and is an exemplar of good teamwork”

Judges’ comment

The project initially achieved a BREEAM score of 87 per cent at design stage, but Kier’s procurement and input helped boost this to an Outstanding rating of 93.05 per cent, the highest score awarded that year.

The team anticipates a post-construction rating of 97.05 per cent – making it the first BREEAM Outstanding council headquarters with a swimming pool.

The building’s passive design was noted as “particularly impressive” by our judges, with its façade and internal atrium designed to maximise natural daylight.

LED lights were used throughout the building, with a solar photovoltaic system on the roof producing an annual output of 23,375 kWh, saving more than 12,000 kg of CO2 each year.

A green travel plan is in place, with cycle racks for 20 per cent of staff provided on site or close by, and 1,600 litres a day of both rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling have been integrated into the building.

In all, the striking site will save the council £500,000 a year in energy costs alone.

Post-occupancy evaluations are ongoing with the team confident the building is performing ahead of its targets.

Five Pancras Square demonstrated “outstanding collaboration”, according to our judges, making it a worthy winner of our Sustainable Project of the Year.

Highly Commended: Sir Robert McAlpine – Birley Building, Birley Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University

Sir Robert McAlpine’s Birley Building, a £64m project at the heart of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley Campus, demonstrated outstanding sustainable innovation throughout the project.

The client’s strong sustainability vision was delivered successfully by the McAlpine project team, with a particularly impressive water conservation and management system.

The team also showed evidence of extensive community engagement, going above and beyond normal levels of commitment.

This BREEAM Excellent-rated building saw 99 per cent of construction waste diverted from landfill, with 43 per cent of the subcontract value awarded to firms located in Greater Manchester against a target of 10 per cent.

An impressive project carried out by an excellent team.


Amco Engineering – Iden Lock improvements

Eric Wright Construction / Muse Developments – Number One Bickerstaffe Square

Skanska Balfour Beatty joint venture – M25 LUS, Managed Motorway All Lanes Running (Section 5)

Skanska UK – Bentley Works redevelopment

Speller Metcalfe – Western Power Distribution, Spilsby

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