Franklin Hub on target for BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating

Sustainability update

The Franklin hub building, due to complete in December 2020, has reached another important milestone, confirming it is on target for BREEAM ‘very good’ status. BREEAM is the rating used in the construction industry to measure the sustainability of buildings in their design and construction.

The ‘very good’ rating reflects the work carried out in designing the Franklin Hub, in selecting sustainable materials, designing spaces to be heat and power efficient, and integrating efficient management into the building.

Sustainable by design

Every element of the building design has been considered for efficiency and increasing sustainability.  The Franklin building has achieved 11 out of a maximum of 12 credits for energy efficiency, meaning that over the life of the building carbon emissions will be as low as possible through energy use.

Externally, biodiversity and environmental impact are considered through the provision of cycle racks, encouraging staff to reduce car use. Local biodiversity is promoted through rich species mix in planting schemes.

The design of the building makes maximum use of natural light, prioritising working spaces, making the Franklin a pleasant and productive environment for researchers.

The Franklin Hub as it will look in 2020. Image courtesy of IBI.
Mace taking the Franklin Directors on a tour of the site

Efficiency and functionality

A priority for the design team has been to make the building reflect our values, of adventure, novelty, engagement and utility. A key element of utility is efficiency – making every square meter of the building as efficient for research as possible, with minimal space wasted by poor layout.

Early analysis of the design shows that the Franklin Hub will the most efficient research space in the UK, while keeping social, networking, and high quality working spaces. Write-up, or open plan spaces will be designed to be flexible, for teams to come together in medium term project groups as needed, and to work, meet and share with other groups.

Construction commitments

The building contractors, Mace, also measure sustainability in their construction processes, and report monthly on their progress in minimising water use, recycling, site CO2 and community engagement.

Construction can be costly to the environment, and changes such as limiting packaging in products arriving to site, switching site vehicles to electric rather than diesel, and ensuring a sustainable supply chain for construction equipment can combine to have large effects on the impact of a project.  All of these factors are measured by Mace, and the Franklin site is currently rated Gold for sustainability among Mace projects.

We will report one key measure from the site each month.

An impression of one of the working spaces in the Franklin Hub. Image courtesy of IBI.