Worship Square, located in a prominent part of London near London City and in close proximity to lucrative potential tenants from the ranks of technology giants, is set to set a new standard of construction and operation. The developer wants it to be "riddled" with modern technologies and have minimal impact on the environment. HB Reavis chief Marian Herman emphasized that the retail sector produces up to 40% of total emissions. For this reason, the Slovak developer also wants to address the issue of sustainability of his unique project. This is another important feature of the building, which still needs to meet post -id demands at present. However, the ecological side of the project can help attract world-class tenants.
Marian Herman explained that several multinational companies have signed up to operate only in carbon-neutral buildings by 2030, of which there are currently only five in Europe. A project of such parameters has the potential to elevate the Slovak developer's brand.
The developer admits this, but on the other hand adds that he has already made a name for himself in London, also thanks to the fact that he is preparing the largest local development project of the last decade there - One Waterloo. "The Lambeth district, to which this project belongs, is already literally looking forward to us, because we will turn the location significantly for the better," HB Reavis stressed for ASB.
Worship Square, lobby | Source: HB Reavis
The old had to give in to the new
The creation of the project was preceded by a classic acquisition process. In February 2020, the London branch of HB Reavis bought the land with the old building already in place. The intention was to create a unique project that would reflect the company's experience, which the existing building simply had to give way. After the project was developed and the necessary permits were obtained, the renovation of the old building began.
Due to its long age, the previous building simply suited almost nothing. "It was unusable in terms of construction heights, efficiency, and the lack of modern technology, and we could continue," the developer explained.
Modern environment and lots of greenery
The appearance of the nine-storey building was created by the architects of the British studio MAKE Architects, who were also behind the design of the New Apollo or Agori in Budapest. Inside, employees and tenants have to find a balanced ratio of jobs and recreation areas. It is therefore clear that this will not be an ordinary building.
Worship Square will offer almost 13,000 m2 of work space, which will complement more than 800 m2 of terraces. One of them will also have compost, which is supposed to produce nutrients for 49 types of greenery in excess of 3,000 pieces. The roof terrace will provide facilities not only for composting, but also for community meetings or workshops.
Facilities at HB Reavis include an on-site gym and 320 bicycle space. They should promote a healthy lifestyle for employees. Monitoring of the indoor environment quality will be provided by the Symbiosy technology platform, thanks to which air quality, temperature or lighting properties will be measured
The rooftop terrace provides facilities for community meetings, yoga classes or workshops. | Source: HB Reavis
The construction of an emission-free building is not technically feasible, so Marian Herman explained that if the importance of the ecological aspect is emphasized, it is necessary for the investor to "return to nature what he took from it". Therefore, 50% less gray energy will be used in construction compared to current building standards.
Other sustainable areas of Worship Square will build on this cornerstone. This is, for example, a reduction in the energy requirements of the building due to the use of heat pumps or the generation of electricity from photovoltaic cells located on the roof.
"In principle, we cannot save energy that we cannot measure. Therefore, the key to optimizing our projects is to measure the behavior of the building and its users. Then we can optimize, adapt or advise tenants, "explained HB Reavis.
According to the head of HB Reavis, a building of this nature will become more expensive by tens of percent, which, however, is to be returned to the developer on rents exceeding standard London prices. This should not be an obstacle either, as demand should exceed supply.
After all, some potential applicants are so far away that they would "throw" stones "to Worship Square. Maybe as early as 2024, when this project is to be completed, all available premises will be reserved.