TBA Global

First Oxford Street M&S, now Euston Tower: don’t pull them down, renovate!

The recent redevelopment plans for Euston Tower in London have become a hot topic. This massive 36-story building is now expected to be partially preserved, with 25% of its old structure retained for renovation.

Many people are unaware that demolishing buildings and other construction projects require significant energy and generate substantial emissions. In comparison, renovating buildings aligns more with the concept of sustainable development. In collaboration with engineers, architects, and architectural firms, British Land, one of the largest property companies in the UK, thoroughly reviewed the redevelopment plans for Euston Tower. The conclusion reached was that the building’s foundations, basement, and central core could be preserved, while the floors, columns, and glass cladding would still need to be demolished.

This conclusion is primarily based on the assessment that the design of the existing tower is outdated and cumbersome, with lower ceiling heights that do not meet current architectural standards. The energy efficiency of the external cladding is low, and has also suffered significant wear and tear, necessitating replacement. An alternative proposal to convert the building into residential units due to lower ceiling height requirements was rejected, proving too costly to implement.

Therefore, British Land argues that it is more reasonable to rebuild the floors with larger dimensions, increasing their area and height to create high-quality office spaces and laboratories. Furthermore, advanced techniques will be employed to recycle materials such as aluminium, glass, and concrete used in the external walls for reuse. The company has committed to achieving a ‘net-zero carbon portfolio’ by 2030, by conducting in-depth research on embodied energy and carbon emissions to enable a more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient renovation process.

However, when observing the wider entire construction industry, there is still a lack of public awareness regarding the energy consumption and subsequent emissions associated with construction projects. Currently, the progress in environmentally friendly construction largely relies on the consciousness of individual real estate companies. However, this undoubtedly increases the costs for these companies. Therefore, in the absence of leadership from national governments, most companies remain silent on these issues.

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