UK’s most sustainable historic building in London’s West End


UK’s most sustainable historic building in London’s West End

Last week Jon Snow opened the UK’s most sustainable historic building in London’s West End. The building achieve the highest BREEAM scoring for such a building. GIC helped achieve this. Working with our  sister consultancy The Ecology Consultancy we provided the design and specification for the Biosolar green roof.

Guardian Article on greenest historic building

The roof was obviously the place to take the shot. Sustainable buildings are often difficult to ‘demonstrate visually. However solar panels sitting amongst native wildflower vegetation and logs says something to the viewer. This kind of story works for the public, however, many professionals consider green infrastructure not as important as  as high-tech carbon saving elements.

Biosolar green roof in the Heart of the West End

This is one of the first biosolar green roofs in the West End. The use of solar and green roofs will increase across the capital, regardless of the current issues associated with the renewable industry. GIC specialises in ensuring that the design of both the solar element and green roof element is mutually beneficial. This needs a knowledge of how a green roof interfaces with the solar panels. All to often this can be left to the last minute, and is implemented badly. This can lead to both technologies under performing.

Sustainable Biosolar roof - Heart of the city

Sustainable Biosolar roof in the Heart of the City

Early in the year GIC was involved in a similar scheme in the heart of the city. The original green roof was a pretty simple sedum affair. However the client want to cover the green roof with solar panels. The planners were keen on the solar element but they required that the green roof to remain. The GIC solution was to arrive at a design that work for both technologies and actually improved the green roof.

A win-win solution for all.

We are looking forward to watching the roof develop.

Sustainable Green roofs in Soho

Of course GIC is pleased to be associated with the greenest historic building in the West End, and specifically in the neighbourhood of Soho. Several years we help deliver  retrofitted green roofs. These were on social housing right in the heart of Soho. At the time, the two green roofs increased the green space in the area by 50%. Since then standing on a tower block on Broadwick Street, we have seen  many more green roofs be installed. Some on new buildings and some retrofitted. So aside from our participation in the project, it is good that green roofs are making the mainstream press as London needs to keep adding more to its portfolio. And  sustainable buildings need to include vegetation as part of the greening agenda for cities. Not just for photographic opportunities for the press but also to create more habitat for biodiversity and  climate change resilience.

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