Landsec’s landmark net zero carbon commercial office development, The Forge, SE1 was opened this week by the Chair of the Net Zero Review, Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP. The Forge is part of Landsec’s one million sq ft green office cluster in Southwark and is the first building in its Southwark pipeline to open.
The opening of The Forge, a revolutionary office development in the heart of London, marks a significant milestone for the construction industry. Built using a standardised "kit of parts" approach known as Platform Design for Manufacture and Assembly (P-DfMA), this project has explored new methods for efficiency, quality, and sustainability in construction.
The Forge is the UK’s first commercial development to have been designed in line with the UK Green Building Council’s definition of a net zero building, and the first office to be built using the highly sustainable platform approach to design for manufacture and assembly (P-DfMA).
The project has been awarded funding from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, for its innovative design and ground-breaking construction techniques, which has contributed to a circa. 36% reduction to date in embodied carbon from the initial design stage.
At 139,000 square feet, The Forge comprises two buildings finished to Cat A, offering high-quality office spaces for businesses in the area. What sets this project apart is its use of P-DfMA, which enabled the structural steelwork, temporary works, cladding, and on-floor MEP to be standardised based on a prototype created by client Landsec and their design partners Bryden Wood. This allowed for greater flexibility in the design process, while also reducing waste, upskilling the workforce, and improving health and safety.
The project was also notable for its use of digital technology to enhance collaboration and streamline construction processes. Building Information Modeling (BIM) was used extensively throughout the project, enabling the design and construction teams to work together more effectively and efficiently.
The Forge has already received multiple awards for its innovative approach and sustainable design. However, its impact goes far beyond its individual achievements. By demonstrating the potential of P-DfMA and digital technology in construction, this project has set a new standard for the industry and paved the way for future innovations and advancements.
“The success of The Forge is a testament to the dedication, expertise and collaboration of everyone involved in the project. Landsec’s goal of exploring modern methods of working and innovation has been successful and the lessons learnt will inform a model for future construction projects, both in terms of efficiency and sustainability and inspire us to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the construction industry.”
Project Director, Sir Robert McAlpine
Oliver Knight, Head of Workplace at Landsec said: “Sustainable office space is in high demand as businesses are increasingly focused on meeting their ESG targets. The Forge, along with the wider green office cluster we’re bringing forward in Southwark, is primed to capitalise on this emerging requirement.”
“The Forge is a landmark space with the potential to transform the way the industry approaches sustainable construction. The techniques we’ve used have allowed us to deliver a truly net-zero space which doesn’t compromise on design, amenities or location.”
Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, Chair of the Net Zero Review said: “The Independent Review of Net Zero acknowledged that improving operational energy and reducing embodied carbon in commercial buildings can bring competitive advantages to UK businesses. The approach taken at The Forge shows what can be achieved when sustainability is embedded into the design and operation of a space.
“Transitioning to a net-zero economy will require innovation, collaboration, and a willingness to take risks. By pioneering different approaches and taking learnings from other industries, Landsec has been able to create new construction techniques that can be applied across the entire industry.”
The Forge was designed by architects Piercy & Co and Bryden Wood. Construction was led by a joint venture between Mace and Sir Robert McAlpine and the leasing agents are CBRE and Union Street Partners.