Undertaking development in the most sustainable way is a key component of all new schemes from the concept design stage, through planning and detailed design, into the construction stage and ultimately how buildings are occupied and operated.

While there are an increasing number of regulatory requirements in respect of sustainability through the town planning and building regulations processes, it is clear that investors in and occupiers of new industrial, warehousing and logistics buildings also have ever-changing aspirations often captured through their ESG strategies.

Each development undertaken by Taurus has these sustainability requirements and aspirations very much at its heart at each stage of the development process and with continuous review and re-evaluation. The team of design consultants that Taurus employs are well versed and experienced in what is required for each development and these requirements are then passed on to appropriate main-build contractors via a Design & Build procurement route. Contractors have to demonstrate at an early stage of the procurement process that they have the necessary skills, experience and commitment to achieve sustainable, ethical, low carbon buildings.

Targets are established at an early stage, but with an aspiration that these targets are stretched rather than soft – the bar is set high at the outset with the headline aspirations of targeting BREEAM “Excellent” and EPC Rating A+. What is key here is the detailed analysis and in-depth assessments of a wide variety of aspects of the design and procurement processes that sit behind those headlines.

Typically such analysis would include:

Flood risk assessment

Ecological, habitat & arboricultural assessment

External lighting assessment

Re-use of demolition material in brownfield redevelopment projects

Responsibly sourced materials

Materials assessment

EPC Assessment

Energy modelling

Embodied carbon assessment

Operational carbon/TM54 assessment

Low zero carbon assessment

Thermal comfort assessment

Landscape assessment

Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

Life Cycle Costing (LCC)

Consideration of adaptability of design

Case Study: Centric, Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage

Centric is one of Taurus’ latest developments, undertaken in partnership with IPIF (Legal & General).

The site comprises 3.75 acres with two obsolete 1960’s/1970’s industrial buildings – this has now been redeveloped to provide four new industrial/warehouse buildings totaling 75,000 sq ft.

Centric has achieved BREEAM “Excellent” at interim Design Stage (77.4%) and Final Stage certification as “Excellent” is anticipated in addition to EPC A/A+ - view the certificate.

Centric is a typical brownfield redevelopment in the established Gunnels Wood employment area of Stevenage with excellent access to public transport.

As much material as possible from the demolished buildings was reused in setting the finished site levels for the new development, with the minimum amount of material being sent off site and the minimum amount of imported material being required. Any waste material that did go off site was strictly sorted into appropriate categories.

The design team worked with the main build contractor (negotiated tender procurement) from the outset of the project which not only saved time but helped build an inclusive project team environment. We were therefore able to look at all aspects of how best to achieve as sustainable a development as possible from the start. All of the above-mentioned analysis and assessment was undertaken.

Key features of the Centric development include:

No gas provision or ability to retro-fit gas

PV panels on the roof of each unit

Electric vehicle charging units to 20% of all car parking spaces with ducting / drawpits provided to increase this to 100% in the future

PIR lighting controls

Daylight dimming to office lighting

Sensor taps to wash hand basins

Dual flush wc's

Sustainable urban drainage (SUDS) system utilising soakaways along with swales, and porous paving to car parking areas

Habitat enhancement through green roofs to cycle and bin stores including hibernacula to encourage bees and invertebrates

Sympathetic landscaping scheme to enhance biodiversity

Carbon reduction measures such as cement replacement products within concrete

Low 'e' thermal glazing

'No dig' construction to protect tree roots in external areas

I have used Taurus to provide advice relating to planning and feasibility on an existing holding in Greater London. I have found Michael to be very knowledgeable, professional and diligent on this particular instruction and am convinced that his insight and endeavour will provide added value for the Fund that previous advisers have been unable to extract.I would have no hesitation in recommending Taurus in terms of assessing development viability.

Edward Brown

CBRE, Global Investors