Orchard Street Investment Management’s latest redevelopment, Communication Park in West London, is one of the first speculative multi-let industrial schemes in the UK delivered as carbon neutral in-use. Rooftop solar PV systems generate 212 kWp of clean power every year, greater than the forecast regulated energy consumption on site. Designed with an intense focus on sustainability and wellbeing, Communication Park also offers views of greenery, edible landscaping, cycle facilities, sedum roofs and electric car and e-bike charging.
A+ EPC scores for all units, rated net zero CO2 in-use
BREEAM Excellent sustainability rating
Leasing ahead of market expectations
Orchard Street Investment Management is a leading commercial property investment manager, focused on the UK market and acting on behalf of institutional clients worldwide. It aims to meet the challenges of climate change head on by committing to a net zero carbon portfolio by 2030 and is making swift progress on that journey. Drivers for net zero include ensuring clients’ assets are resilient to future regulatory standards, futureproofed against the impacts of climate change and positioned favourably with prospective occupiers.
Launched in October 2020, Communication Park in West London is a multi-let scheme providing five industrial / warehouse units close to Heathrow Airport. The site was previously home to a low quality 1930s brick-built estate, which had poor Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings and had reached the end of its economic and operational life. The Asset Manager for Communication Park, who is a member of the company’s Responsible Investment Committee, recognised the potential for the project to test how low carbon could go on industrial redevelopments, proving the commercial case. The EPC ratings for all units is now A+, which is classified as ‘net zero carbon’.
Low carbon features include:
Through energy efficiency measures and on-site renewable generation, the EPC assessments for each unit rate emissions as net zero CO2, as shown in the table below.
Occupier wellbeing features designed into the scheme include:
How to expand the scope of carbon neutral?
Started in 2016, Communication Park is designed to be carbon neutral in-use for all regulated loads. Occupiers in this location are likely to be logistics firms, which have relatively modest on-site energy consumption. The first three occupiers at Communication Park are all in the logistics sector. There is a clause in leases requiring occupiers not to adversely impact the EPC score. On more recent projects, Orchard Street Investment Management is also looking at embodied carbon, which covers all the emissions generated to produce a building. Recognising that this is a significant proportion of a building’s total carbon footprint, Orchard Street Investment Management is piloting the use of embodied carbon measurement and targets on selected refurbishment projects. This is revealing that huge improvements can be made to the energy efficiency performance and EPC ratings of high quality older buildings through refurbishment, rather than demolition and reconstruction, generating substantial embodied carbon savings. The previous 1930s estate at Communication Park was of low quality and at the end of its operational life, so refurbishment was not possible.
How to expand best practice on low carbon?
Learning from Communication Park, the team developed a matrix showing the capital expenditure for each sustainability feature against the carbon saving and EPC points for use on future projects. Informed by the success of the PV installation, the company is also rolling out solar arrays at additional industrial assets, particularly retail warehousing where there are large roof areas. Guided by a business-wide review of climate-related risks and opportunities, in line with Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, Orchard Street Investment Management will publish a 2030 net zero carbon strategy in 2021, covering Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
Jeremy Tan, Airbox Fulfilment MD
“Airbox wants to take the lead in sustainable fulfilment and ensuring that this becomes the new norm in the fulfilment industry. The warehouse’s carbon neutral credentials, along with its excellent specification and proximity to Heathrow’s Cargo terminal, were the key factors when making our choice and we can’t wait to grow the business here.”