Sustainable Architecture in London 

by | Feb 14, 2023 | London, News | 0 comments

Sustainable architecture is now a major feature of industry heavy-weight headquarters in London.   As the metropolis is the showcase for innovation and development, modern city design is the expression of new sustainable intentions.  As the construction industry is forced to reduce its carbon emissions and develop sustainable practices for material use and design, sustainable architecture becomes crucial in the changing face of the city skyline.  London already is home to many high-profile and award-winning residential sustainable developments.  Sustainable construction minimizes the negative effects of wasteful construction practices, and excessive carbon emissions and focuses on creating holistic environments for people to live and work within. 

Leading-edge sustainable architecture in London 

Architecture is always at best the embodiment of a culture and its intentions.  Consider the Parthenon, the Library at Ephesus, and Gaudi’s towers in Barcelona.  Where art meets masonry there have always been edifices worth preserving.  Cities generally hold the whole range of the spectrum that is possible within their boundaries. Different epochs of design flank the Thames along the South bank in a medley that is characteristically London.  The Crystal can be found at the Royal Docks and is an iconic building without front or back facades or a traditionally designed roof. It defies convention in presenting its form as a series of facets that appear different when viewed from various angles.  As an international centre for sustainability, it demonstrates and symbolizes the potential to explore new ways of visioning a new future based on sustainable principles.  It is an “all-electric” building that generates its own energy using solar power and ground-based heat pumps, storing excess in its own batteries.  With rainwater harvesting systems, and black water treatment methods it demonstrates a maximum use of natural light and operates with cutting-edge energy management and ventilation systems. 

Converting existing city buildings 

As the recycling of materials is fundamental to sustainability, some architectural projects take on the challenge of retrofitting a sustainable infrastructure within an existing construction.  One great example of this is the Roots in the Sky scheme which is a conversion of the iconic Blackfriars Crown Court. Set to be London’s greenest office space it will have the first rooftop urban forest in the UK.  Utilizing the original materials and recycled steel from another building it will be a zero-carbon building in both construction and operation.  With an adopted timber frame and reclaimed steel, the all-electric building will surpass sustainability credentials.  While some argue that in a city like London, it is difficult to retrofit sustainable features, it is great that innovative designs can embody emblematic architecture of a certain era with the intentions of another generation.  As the construction and residential sector are responsible for a major part of carbon emissions it is essential that changes are implemented in building practice and material sourcing.  

Passivhaus and sustainable architecture

Mega builds aside, residential construction is also influenced by emerging sustainable principles and ethics.  Passivhaus is a concept that has become a system of classifying a home to a certain standard of energy efficiency and sustainability.  A balance between reduced carbon emissions in construction and a 75% reduction in heating requirements qualify a house at Passivhaus standards.  Creating an airtight thermal envelope in construction is essential to this building model.  Airtight and radically insulated a Passivhaus building will contain no thermal bridges and will optimize solar gains.  With high quality windows and doors and heat recovery ventilation, it functions as an efficient system which requires little external energy to heat and power it.  London architectural firm Architype incorporate the principles of Passivhaus within their innovative sustainable aesthetics.  Examples of the best sustainable architects in the UK demonstrate exciting visions of the future of both commercial and residential properties, with growing emphasis on mixed use locations that blend work, life and recreation in biophilic environments. 

Residential developments in London 

After the pandemic spurred an exodus from London to greener pastures, housing developments within the city recognize the overall need for green space that has become a priority for many people.  Most new build developments all over London will be factoring in energy efficiency and green space into their plans.  Existing residential eco developments also cover a wide spectrum of budgets and styles.  The controversial development of Chelsea Barracks was awarded the title of the most sustainable development in Europe and comprises an exclusive arrangement of luxury penthouses, apartments, and townhouses.  On the edge of London in Sutton is BedZed the UK’s first sustainable urban eco-village.  As a large-scale mixed-use sustainable community, it entails 100 homes, office spaces, a college, and community facilities.  Residents enjoy abundant outdoor space and the use of a car club. In Barking it is possible to invest in a pocket eco home and live in a sustainable housing development.  The Beacon in Hemel Hempstead claims that its energy-efficient technologies will cut costs of £11,000 per year for its residents. 

London Eco Homes 

Eco home is a wide umbrella term that can mean different things.  When a house is a certified green building it meets certain standards, for example, the Passivhaus standard. Some houses may be retrofitted with energy-efficient features and fixtures which range from ecological paint to renewable energy sources.  If a home can reduce its carbon emissions and generate renewable energy it can become carbon positive and then would qualify as an eco-home, even if it was a period building without a sustainable blueprint.  Contemporary London eco homes are varied in their style and sustainable assets.  However, it is definitely a growing part of the housing market, as the energy crisis changes the priorities of home and property buyers.  As Master Removers of London, and with decades of industry experience, at Anthony Ward Thomas we are tuned into the changing trends of London’s urban outlook. We are excited about the prospects of London leading the way with sustainable buildings and housing developments in the decades to come.  With a whole network of parks and green spaces, and a host of urban forests and green roofs to come, London can set a great standard for the world to follow. 

Anthony Ward Thomas – ahead of the curve in London’s removals and storage industry

At Anthony Ward Thomas our removals and storage services for London have developed over time in different specialist arenas.  While we offer the fundamental services for domestic removals and storage in London, we also have a fine arts logistics team who specialize in the curation and transportation of valuable works of art, furniture and antiques.  Plus, as we work with various clients in the lettings sector, we have a range of affiliated services which include cleaners, handymen and painters and decorators.  Covering all bases from office moves to various storage options  our dedicated team bring excellence to every region of our operation and throughout every London borough.  Sustained by years of experience and dedication to refining this industry, when it comes to a major move, put yourself in the hands of our expert, specialist team.  Whatever the nature of your enterprise or residential change, we have flexible solutions that we will be happy to discuss with you.  Get in touch with us today for more information.