Skanska UK’s commercial projects are setting new standards of excellence. Our flagship London office at 51 Moorgate received some of the highest accolades for its sustainability, quality, health and safety, and occupant wellbeing. A host of other keynote projects across the capital all point to a capability for delivering buildings to the very highest quality.
For Executive Vice President Katy Dowding, these accreditations clearly demonstrate where our priorities lie at every stage of a construction project. “It’s all about putting people first,” she says. “By putting people at the heart of a building – in design, construction through to facilities management – we can help tenants and occupiers to feel healthier, happier and more productive.”
As the world begins to look tentatively beyond the pandemic, build quality and tenant experience are becoming increasingly important as developers look to leverage a premium for their investment.
Tenants are also seeking the best quality space to accommodate employees returning to office after years spent in often less-than-ideal homeworking environments. It’s no longer about cramming in the maximum number of desks, but creating modern, sustainable spaces for collaboration, innovation and productivity.
Making our Marq in London
The Marq building in central London was delivered for The Crown Estate in March 2019. It boasts exceptional indoor air quality and access to natural light, as well as optimised indoor lighting, responsive heating, plus fitness and active transportation areas for the wellbeing of occupants.
The building was the UK’s first new-build project to achieve both a BREEAM New Construction Outstanding rating for its shell and core, plus WELL Gold Certification. This double-certification recognises it as a building designed to enhance health, wellbeing and productivity, as well as delivering the highest environmental performance.
Setting the standard at 51 Moorgate
Skanska’s offices at Moorgate became the first in the UK to achieve WELL Platinum under the new v2 version of the standard in recognition of a range of healthy features. These include extensive natural light, dedicated wellbeing and quiet spaces, as well as stringent air and water quality monitoring.
The WELL standard looks at all a building’s features and management processes – from air and water quality to lighting, acoustics, nutrition, thermal comfort and mental wellbeing. It is widely recognised as the industry yardstick for measuring how workspaces can contribute to the wellbeing of occupants. The office was simultaneously certified under the WELL Health-Safety Seal – a standard informed by experts from the COVID-19 taskforce, recognising that everything is in place to protect and support the health of its occupants.
“We’re proud to have the healthiest offices in the UK, because it’s what our teams deserve and it’s a living showcase of the healthy building expertise we can offer our customers – showing them what can be achieved,” adds Katy.
EightyFen at 80 Fenchurch Street
This 14-storey, mixed-use commercial and retail development in the City of London is another example of where we’ve used our expertise to help our customer achieve impressive accreditations.
EightyFen has achieved a BREEAM excellent environmental rating, plus a WiredScore Platinum rating – the highest award for building connectivity and digital infrastructure. This means tenants will benefit from facilities that enhance their wellbeing in a building adaptive to their digital needs.
Sixty London Wall
Health and wellbeing are top priorities at this £140 million commercial development in central London. The building achieved a Fitwel 2-Star Rating which means each floor and communal area meets the high standards of the certification, which aims to enhance the health and wellbeing of everybody using the building’s facilities.
The building won the New London Awards Environmental Prize and achieved a BREEAM rating of Outstanding - representing an innovative sustainability performance attained by less than one per cent of new non-domestic buildings in the UK.
Important positive outcomes
So, why do these accreditations matter?
This third-party validation demonstrates that our work has been appraised against common standards recognised across the industry. It benchmarks what we deliver for our customers against these, helping building owners to understand the art of the possible and how quality can increase return on investment. This is important to support them in achieving their goals – whether that’s WELL for the healthiest spaces or WiredScore for ultimate digital connectivity, these certifications demonstrate the scale and what we can offer against it to support their building ambitions.
As the industry looks to become more sustainable, certifications are also an important way to signpost to the carbon reduction levels we should be targeting – and the innovative methods that can get buildings there; through design, the construction process and reducing energy usage in the longer term.
“We’re very proud to be leading workplace excellence across all these projects and look forward to helping our customers gain many more accreditations in years to come,” concludes Katy.
“The key to all of this is our integrated construction and building operations teams. This means that our experts can help our customers with MEP services earlier on in the programme, or our FM experts can offer insight into key building management knowhow that can be built into the design of the programme, right from the start. All this expertise provides the widest range of options for our customers to understand what’s right for them. And, when it comes to buildings – the sky’s the limit.”