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‘Climate positive approach’ puts sustainability at heart of Swindon transformation

From methods of construction to materials, FI Real Estate Management and its project partners, Loop Interiors and Alphacello, have outlined a top 10 sustainability goals for the £7.5m transformation of 1 Newbridge Square in Swindon.

The multi-million-pound project forms part of the wider £1 billion regeneration of Swindon, and is being led by Dominic Knowles, on behalf of FI Estate Management, with a strong emphasis on sustainable design and occupier wellness.

1 Newbridge Square’s environmental credentials include targets of EPC A, BREEAM Excellent and Net Zero Carbon for the refurbishment, through implementation of an environmental management system which minimises onsite energy usage, and specification of materials and products which have a low-carbon impact, including sustainability-certified carpets, paints and terrazzo cement stone tiles.

The project’s key sustainability goals are:

BREEAM Excellent Rating
Life Cycle Carbon Assessment – the building is being developed to achieve low embodied carbon and be low-carbon in operation. The design has 30% less structural embodied carbon compared with other benchmark buildings
Fitwel accreditation – a standard that measures occupant health and wellbeing
Low Zero Carbon PV Installation –renewable energy production via solar photo-voltaic panels on the roof of the building
EPC A rating
Materials – local procurement where possible; low carbon materials (with a high recycled content) or renewable materials (i.e. from natural sources such as wood, plant fibres and bio-based materials); healthy materials, with a third party low toxin and volatile organic compound (VOC) certification
Waste – reusing as much of the strip-out material as possible; avoid sending strip-out waste to landfill (align with London Plan requirement to divert 95% of construction waste from landfill); where new materials are specified, ensure high recycled content
Lighting Strategy – including highly efficient LED lighting; lower illuminance throughout and zone lighting, so that if the office is not fully occupied, the lighting can be turned off in those areas that are not occupied
Circular Economy – materials will be logged, and material passports produced to allow a record of the building elements, providing data of the materials, products, and components that have been used. These records will enable the reuse of materials during the building’s operation or at the end of its life, turning the used materials into resources instead of waste
Onsite EV charging and cycle storage
Dominic Knowles, Head of Offices at FI Estate Management, commented: “Our vision for the building is to deliver a healthy, resilient, and positive place for people to work, built responsibly, showcasing leadership.

“We want to leverage the project’s sustainability strategy, and decarbonize the refurbishment of the building to create a climate-positive asset.”

Mat Byway, managing director at Alphacello, added: “Sustainable construction is hugely important because it helps to minimise the negative impacts of the construction industry on the environment and society, and create better places for people to live and work. The built environment accounts for almost 40% of global emissions and uses vast quantities of natural resources, so finding ways to reduce its footprint is crucial.”

Tim Knowles, Founder and Managing Director at FI Estate Management, added: “We are driven by a determination to stay ahead of the curve in terms of sustainability. There are numerous ways in which towns and cities can transform their eco strategy, and at FI Real Estate Management, we’ve observed the key elements of an attractive sustainability approach and implemented them into developments such as 1 Newbridge Square.”

As one of the UK’s most established names in commercial asset and property management, FI Real Estate Management operates an extensive and diverse portfolio which covers over 15m sq ft, including 5m sq ft of new build developments, across the nation, with assets totalling in excess £1.2bn.

1 Newbridge Square will create a total of 100,000 sq ft of high-quality grade A office space, with flexible floorplates available up to 24,000 sq ft. Work is due to be completed by the end of 2023.

The scheme will see the former home of Zurich Insurance transformed into a modern business address with contemporary, Grade A office and retail space, effectively designed with a user-centred approach – regenerating Swindon’s business district with a full focus on wellness, ESG and a future-proof vision.

Cushman & Wakefield, Loveday, and Smethurst are acting as joint agents for the office space.

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