Grosvenor unveils masterplan for £500 million London development
Grosvenor has unveiled plans to change the face of Bermondsey in London with a £500 million draft masterplan that could become one of the capital’s largest build to rent developments.
Grosvenor's plan would host around 1,500 new rental homes, its latest public consultation has revealed. It would also provide a number of homes on a range of discounted market rents, reaching a wider spectrum of people.
Grosvenor is proposing significant investment to at a 12-acre former biscuit factory site.
The plan, designed by award-winning, international architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, outlines ambitions for a physically integrated neighbourhood with a brand new 600-place secondary school at its heart, over 110,000 square feet of new public spaces, and almost 20,000 square feet of new playspace.
Approximately 85,000 square feet of ground floor retail, food, leisure and culture would be added with shops, services and facilities open to the community.
Development plans would also create conditions for over 900 new jobs, opportunities for new and existing businesses, and an annual boost to local spending of £30 million.
Grosvenor is testing its latest proposals after two years of local interaction and discussion.
Craig McWilliam, Chief Executive of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: “London's housing shortage is too often creating polarised outcomes, with homes for the few who can afford to buy them, and those allocated social rented accommodation.
“We are sharing our ambitions in Bermondsey to meet the needs of many on low and middle incomes who are locked out of London’s housing market.
“We want to help create one of London's greatest neighbourhoods for people of mixed incomes, backgrounds and life stages. We want to manage these rental homes for the long term, responding to changing needs and extending Bermondsey’s rich history at the heart of a growing, global city.”
University of Dresden constructs carbon concrete building
The Technical University of Dresden, in partnership with German architecture firm Henn, is constructing the first building to be made out of concrete and carbon fibre, rather than traditional steel.
The combination of materials, known as, “carbon concrete” has the same structural strength as its steel-reinforced alternative but less concrete is used, according to researchers at the university.
The building, called “The Cube” is currently under construction at the University of Dresden’s campus in Germany, and is believed to be the first carbon concrete building in the world. Strengthening the concrete, the carbon fibre yarns are used to create a mesh into which the concrete is then poured.
Unlike steel, the mesh is rust-proof meaning that the lifespan of carbon concrete is longer than that of the more typical steel-reinforced concrete. This also allows the layers to be much thinner than steel.
The design and shape of The Cube
According to the companies, the flexibility of carbon fibre allows the walls to fold up and become a roof. In a statement talking about the building’s design elements, Hen said: “The design of The Cube reinterprets the fluid, textile nature of carbon fibres by seamlessly merging the ceiling and walls in a single form, suggesting a future architecture in which environmentally conscious design is paired with formal freedom and a radical rethinking of essential architectural elements.
"The wall and ceiling are no longer separate components but functionally merge into one another as an organic continuum.” Displayed as a showpiece for TU Dresden’s major project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, The Cube aims to explore the potential uses of carbon concrete in construction.
"Carbon concrete could contribute to more flexible and resource-saving construction processes, and switching to carbon concrete could reduce the CO2 emissions from construction by up to 50%," Henn said in a statement.
Bio-based carbon fibre under development to reduce carbon footprint
While carbon fibre may be lighter and stronger than steel, it has a much higher carbon footprint. Describing the material’s impact on the environment, Dr Erik Frank, Senior Carbon Scientist at the German Institute of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF), said it is “usually very bad.” To reduce the carbon footprint, Frank is finding ways to make carbon fibre out of lignin, a common plant-based substance found in the paper manufacturing industry.