Helical launches “designing for net zero” guide that builds on the company’s sustainability strategy

26 April 2021

As part of Helical’s continued focus on sustainability, it is pleased to announce the launch of ‘Designing for Net Zero’, a guide to aid the Company’s professional teams as they collaborate on development projects and aim to meet Helical’s ambitions as it transitions to a low carbon business. The guide covers the entire development process from design and construction through to operation and occupation.

A key pillar of its approach to future development is the appointment of a Carbon Champion. The Carbon Champion will help set the carbon agenda and strategy in the form of a Carbon Implementation Plan (CIP). The Carbon Champion will agree the vision with Helical at the outset, brief the team and then support, monitor and document the project’s carbon journey.

The design guide sets out 10 steps that should be followed on the journey in trying to achieve a net zero carbon development. Each of the 10 steps details a series of prompts, helping the Carbon Champion ensure that carbon is considered at every stage of a development, from initial planning well into occupancy. The guide highlights that the greatest carbon saving opportunities lie in optimising facades and materials; design; optimising energy systems and monitoring their use; and in tenant engagement.

Helical’s latest office development at 33 Charterhouse Street, which achieved the UK’s first BREEAM 2018 new construction “Outstanding” rating for its design, already has a Carbon Champion in place. This role has proven to be an integral resource in ensuring the development is on track to achieve a 20% reduction in embodied carbon, in line with Helical’s sustainability targets.

‘Designing for Net Zero’ builds on Helical’s Sustainability Strategy, “Built for the Future”, which launched in June last year and set out the Company’s long-term vision encompassing “Our Environment, Our Communities and Our People” and to enable the business to become truly sustainable. The strategy included several short to medium term targets as the Company transitions into a low carbon business, including ensuring all new developments are net zero carbon in operation by 2025.

Matthew Bonning-Snook, Property Director & Chair of Sustainability Committee at Helical, commented:

Matthew Bonning-Snook
Property Director & Chair of Sustainability Committee

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do at Helical. Last year we announced our Sustainability Strategy, “Built for the Future”, with ambitious low carbon targets and this latest design guide will help us achieve these goals.

"It is our responsibility, as owners and creators of exciting design-led real estate, that we are developing properties that meet the needs of our occupiers, while minimising their impact on the environment. By introducing a Carbon Champion for all our new developments, we will ensure that carbon is considered at each stage of a project and undergoes a rigorous impact assessment.

“Whilst the property industry is responding to the climate change challenge, not all net zero pledges are equal and there is a lack of regulation in the market for carbon offsetting. By integrating our response at a granular level, we can ensure that our carbon philosophy is ingrained within our business, within our professional teams and within our supply chain as we strive to meet our Sustainability targets.”

The full report is available here: 

For further information:

  • Matthew Bonning Snook
    Helical plc
    Tel 020 7629 0113
  • Dido Laurimore / Richard Gotla / Andrew Davis
    FTI Consulting