26th June 2024

Early engagement key at 2 Finsbury Avenue

As 2 Finsbury Avenue is taking shape in the ground, early collaboration at design stage has been key to optimise sustainability and logistics.

Providing some 1.1ft2 of floorspace, 2 Finsbury Avenue (2FA) is British Land’s largest project to date and the final piece of the jigsaw in the current regeneration of Broadgate into a world class, seven-day, mixed-use central London destination.

It comprises dual high-rise towers, the 36-storey East Tower and the West Tower at 21-storeys. The towers will be instantly recognisable landmarks, characterised by innovative triangular patterns combining a solid and glazed sawtooth-shaped façade that supports double height spaces. 

A 12-storey podium will link the towers via a winter garden and incorporate green spaces, leisure and a range of publicly accessible space - reflecting the mixed-use campus of which it will be a fundamental part. Located in the heart of Broadgate, it is exceptionally well connected with great London neighbourhoods on its doorstep.

Since 2019, we have been working on the project, helping to shape the design and construction methodology, providing sustainability advice and supporting programme development. The landmark towers will be the sixth in a series of projects completed for British Land and GIC under the Broadgate Framework.

2FA will create a new benchmark for highly sustainable workspace in central London with BREEAM Outstanding, WELL Platinum, EPC A and NABERS 5-star ratings. It will be all-electric, and a smart-enabled development ensuring leading carbon and energy efficiency in operation.

Work began on site in July 2022 with the soft strip and deconstruction of the two 10-storey buildings occupying the site, an operation based around circular economy principles.

This saw nearly 25 tonnes of structural beams extracted, cleaned and tested; materials which are now in the process of being warrantied for reuse. Approximately 2,500m3 of concrete was recovered, crushed and reused in the foundations and around 9,500m2 of raised access flooring removed and stored for reuse.

With the building’s tallest tower rising 155m, the groundwork has involved 280 secant piles and 78 bearing piles up to 50m deep installed over nine months.

The team are currently focused on building Basement 1 up to ground floor. Once these two floors are locked in, they will begin building two further basement levels top down. It’s an approach which will save six to nine months compared to a blue sky programme and will see the extraction of some 2,000 lorry loads of muck.

Two cranes will service the build up until the commencement of the podium structural steelwork later in the year, when a third tower crane will be installed. One of the cranes rakes out an angle over the adjoining road, cantilevering off the structure to the point where it can climb vertically.

Designed by McAlpine Lifting Solutions and McAlpine Design Group with input from our Kettering Plant Department, this arrangement delivers a massive advantage in that the crane does not go through the building.

Whilst the engineering may be impressive, there is another equally challenging dimension to this high rise project according to Project Director Kenny Ryan.

The biggest challenge will be the logistics, as we have limited pit lanes along two sides of the building, so we are reliant on the tower cranes and the hoists. It’s all about the efficiency of our logistical movements within the constraints of the space we have for accepting deliveries and then unloading and distributing to the work areas at the right time, which will be key to the success of the project.

Kenny Ryan Project Director

Sustainability built in

At the final design stage of this project, we were able to reduce the embodied carbon emissions from 755kg to 656kg CO2e per sqm.

Thanks to our early involvement and collaboration with British Land at the design stage, we were able to engage with the wider supply chain to improve design efficiency and propose innovative low-carbon materials.

In partnership with our piling contractor, we rationalised the foundation design, reducing pile diameter from 2.4m to 1.8m to optimise material use and used steel manufactured in an electric arc furnace for around a third of the plunge column piles, which cut embodied carbon by 15%.

Together, we have also pioneered basalt reinforcement in the temporary works. Made of volcanic rock, this is up to 60% lower carbon than steel reinforcement in its manufacture.

Working with the steelwork contractor, we’re using 95% XCarb steel in the superstructure; a product which is manufactured by electric arc furnace with 100% recycled steel and powered by REGO-backed renewable energy, saving around 5,000 tonnes of CO2e versus traditional blast furnace steel. The façade features aluminium produced using renewable power, saving around 1,900 tonnes of CO2e versus an average European aluminium product.


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