Discussing Sustainable Building with Sellar’s Simon Swietochowski
How do you incorporate sustainability into the design of a building?
The importance of reducing carbon within the real estate life cycle has increased exponentially over the past 18 months or so, accelerated in part by greater social awareness of the climate emergency. At Sellar our focus is not just on ensuring the materials and systems that go into the build are efficient and sustainably sourced, but on ensuring that the buildings themselves are designed with longevity and environmental responsibility at their heart.
To design sustainably, you must think long term. We should be designing buildings now that generations upon generations will one day work in. At Sellar we consider how the context around our projects will evolve over time. Grand Union House, our project in Camden for example, has led us to invest in openable windows today so that as London streets become cleaner and local air quality improves, the building’s ability to naturally ventilate itself grows. Measures like this combined with grid decarbonization will see our projects becoming greener and greener over time.
On Grand Union House, we are reusing the existing structural frame and foundations rather than demolishing which will save thousands of tonnes of carbon and take dozens of demolition lorries off London streets, aligned to our commitment to improving local air quality. We plan to extend the building vertically in this case with a hybrid timber and steel frame. This lightweight solution allows us to extend the building without strengthening the foundations, again reducing embodied carbon. Our low carbon approach and thinking around reuse will help to shape industry standards moving forward for low carbon workplace architecture.
The implementation of smart technology is also central to the realisation of our sustainable goals; each of our developments prioritises data collection through intelligent building management systems that monitor energy consumption and assess potential environmental impact. This is vital for the optimal operation of a building, and by prioritising this from the outset, the building’s operational carbon footprint is dramatically reduced.
What are the logistics of creating smart buildings?
Digital technology is evolving faster than any other part of building construction especially as part of their post covid resilience. This brings immense opportunity, but at the same time there is a need to be mindful that buildings don’t become digitally redundant or fall behind the curve.
To address this risk at our Paddington Square development, a robust master system has been integrated that allows for ongoing updates and add-ons. This is one of the most crucial logistical elements of a smart building as it means new technology can be layered over existing systems and keep advancing the digital DNA of the building as technology continues to develop.
Smart technology can reduce operational energy consumption through smart heating, cooling and ventilation, smart lift systems that adjust their performance according to the number of people in the building, time of day and weather, enhance security through facial recognition and eliminate underutilised space through smart room booking systems. The technology that enables this optimisation is constantly evolving. A robust master system in place from the beginning is incredibly important as it means smart systems can be seamlessly layered into the building over time.
Lacuna Projects appointed to curate major public art programme at Paddington Square
With a brief to programme both permanent and temporary artist interventions, the project team will work to enliven multiple sites at Paddington Square, including the large public square being created immediately adjacent to Paddington Station, a new landscaped restaurant street opposite the new Bakerloo Line entrance and the main 18-storey building itself designed by international architecture practice Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW).
Lacuna Projects has been appointed following an invited competition The brief will activate the site as a civic space and urban destination, connecting to and working with the local community and attracting diverse audiences with a dynamic artistic vision, presenting different types of artworks from both international and UK artists. The public art programme will celebrate this new London quarter and offer opportunities for contemporary art encounters and civic conversations, for both those who work at Paddington Square and the many millions of visitors who will pass by and through annually. The Paddington Square art programme is scheduled to be unveiled in Spring 2022.
“We are delighted to develop a public realm art programme that embodies Paddington Square’s unique urban vision and reflects the evolving discourses of life and culture today. Our curatorial approach sheds light on the best of contemporary public art and thrives on the valuable contributions of the local community and the creative potential of Paddington Square.” – Stella Ioannou and Jade Niklai, Lacuna Projects
“We are passionate about art and design, and are delighted to have appointed Stella and the Lacuna team, who will play a crucial role in shaping and implementing a high-profile series of commissions at Paddington Square. Their track record in delivering impactful public art projects was matched by a forward-looking curatorial approach that mirrored our own ambition to create inspirational cultural moments for our communities, the Paddington area, and for London. We very much looking forward to unveiling our plans, and the commissions themselves, as Paddington Square moves towards its public opening in 2022” – James Sellar, CEO of Sellar
The female leadership in our local community
Kay began working in Paddington in 1998, after a tenure at Westminster City Council and various planning and community planning roles in London. With a background of 20+ years in urban policy and stakeholder engagement, Kay was involved in the setting up one of the first Business Improvement District’s (BID) in London, Paddington Now, as well as London’s 50th BID, Marble Arch London.
Learn more about The Paddington Partnership and the work that Kay and the team are doing to promote the area at www.thisispaddington.com