This substantial office development is on target to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating as a result of its holistic approach to sustainable design with the additional ambition of reducing its embodied carbon emissions to the lowest for this type of building in the UK.
The building utilises passive design principles wherever possible, although railway noise has dictated an energy-efficient air-supply system rather than fully natural ventilation. Central atrium spaces are used to distribute and reclaim air throughout the four massing blocks of the scheme which step around the curve of the site. Solar control on the 200-metre long south-east-facing facades accentuates the stepping theme. In addition to embodied carbon assessment, the building is designed using actual energy performance modelling with the aim of being the lowest energy building on the King’s Cross site.
Unusually, the main plantrooms for the building are at low level to the rear, where they integrate with a central cooling pods facility and a 1.4MW fuel cell which serve the whole KXC development. Consequently, the roofs of the building are free of mechanical plant, accommodating gardens and planted terraces, with a combined area of around 6,000 square metres.
Extensive research into the life-cycle carbon content of the project’s construction is influencing the detailed design development. This research, carried out with Sturgis Carbon Profiling, embraces all aspects, including concrete mixes, sources of cladding materials, periodic replacement of materials that will wear out and ongoing maintenance.
The project was granted planning permission by the London Borough of Camden in September 2016.