Given continued demand for high quality spaces, and the confidence we have in our buildings, in December 2020, we committed to the extensive repositioning of 50 Finsbury Square, EC2. Our 128,100 sq ft refurbishment will enlarge the office floor plates within the existing frame of the building, create a large reception with a concierge as well as an improved retail, leisure and amenity offer. The new building will be a sustainability and wellbeing exemplar delivering on all four pillars of our Sustainability Statement of Intent and will become the most tech-enabled building in our portfolio.
Repositioning of a key asset
At 50 Finsbury Square we have put sustainability and innovation at the heart of design. The building will be the first of our developments to deliver on all four pillars of ‘The Time is Now’, our Sustainability Statement of Intent.
Whilst in need of updating, the fabric of the 128,100 sq ft building is sound. Therefore we are re-using it, refurbishing the building around its existing structure rather than demolishing and starting again.
The major repositioning will extend the office floor plates within the existing envelope of the building, create a large reception with a concierge as well as an improved retail, leisure and amenity offer.
Adaptability is key to reducing the risk of obsolescence and therefore we have retained the ability to add additional floors (subject to planning), without the need for new foundations or columns as well as the ability to cater for a wide variety of potential future uses, to extend the longevity of the building.
Our reuse and recycle approach will deliver an 80% embodied carbon saving over a ground up redevelopment. Furthermore, we are embracing the circular economy where we can to further reduce our carbon footprint, reusing the glazing throughout and repurposing stone from the existing facade to create
a feature wall in the atrium.
50 Finsbury Square will also be our first development to contribute to our newly created Decarbonisation Fund. We anticipate that it will contribute around £600,000 using our internal carbon price of £95 per tonne to offset its residual embodied carbon. The fund will be used to support the retrofitting of energy efficiency projects within our existing portfolio. Powered only by electricity with no fossil fuel based hot water or heating, the building will be highly energy efficient and is targeted to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and at least an EPC ‘B’ rating. Our team are working hard to deliver further carbon savings, with the aim of achieving net zero carbon for the building.
Our social value guidelines will be adopted for the project, seeking to support local apprenticeships and job placements, whilst contributing to a number of community projects, including with our charity partner, Groundwork London, to support air quality initiatives in Islington schools. The building will also be WELL enabled, with the provision of informal and formal workplaces, including a co-working workspace with an integrated café, a roof-top amenity and high levels of greening further providing a healthy and productive environment for our occupiers.
As a market leader in delivering smart buildings, we intend to build on the innovation initiatives we have incorporated into our recently completed developments, we will therefore be creating a digital twin which, when combined with a variety of sensors throughout the space, will allow us to monitor energy usage and provide information and control to our occupiers using our award winning sesame™ app. This technology will support us in reducing the performance gap between how much energy buildings are designed to consume and how much they consume in use.
With market-leading sustainability, technology and health and wellbeing initiatives designed in, early discussions with occupiers have been encouraging well ahead of expected completion in Q4 2022.