Simons Group - LowCarbon GlaxoSmithKline Facility

Project Details

Project - Low Carbon GlaxoSmithKline Factory
Architect - Simons Group
Sector - Commercial
Technology - Glulam, CLT & Timber

Project Overview

The building had been proposed initially in 2008 to meet GSK's requirement to relocate their existing facilities from older, flood prone and put simply; unsuitable accommodation. This enabled a comparable embodied carbon footprint to be established, which demonstrates that the project has resulted in 1000t CO2 less emissions during construction than a conventional build and will create an annual reduction of 17t CO2 over building's lifespan.

The design required fitting the facility into a corner of a complex manufacturing site, around GSK's wide-ranging existing services and preserved below ground archaeology, with a number of lean lift storage towers located.

Design work formally began in 2011, using BIM throughout and occupants were involved in the design of the facility through stakeholder workshops. Simons Construction began work in November 2014 and completed in the Spring of 2016. GSK operations across the Ware Global Manufacturing Facility remained in full use throughout the duration of the works.

The Compliance Building has been constructed using low carbon elements and will house sample retention, batch dossier archives, engineering stores and Emergency Response Team accommodation. The main structure comprises a Glulam frame the first floor and roof are from CLT timber frame with wall panels made from hemp-based panels. These natural materials have a significantly lower embodied carbon footprint than conventional steel frame and cladding construction. Where plasterboard has been used, a product was selected with high recycled content (89%). Insulation, re-enforcement and metal roof cladding have also been selected to have highest levels of recycled content. External works consisted of connections into the wider GSK infrastructure in Ware.

During construction, Simons achieved their company target of zero waste to landfill. Due to offsite construction methods, works involved 59% less waste than a conventional build, which was distributed through local recycling networks. Due to large quantities of low impact materials and sequestration in timber and hemp, there were 84% less CO2 emissions from construction materials compared to a traditional build process.

The building will provide a host of benefits; taking advantage of the latest technological developments, more effective and efficient working practices for GSK team, much improved natural ventilation and daylight for teams at their workstations, passive solar heating and improved air tightness to reduce energy use in the winter months. There are approximately 200m2 of solar panels on the roof of the building, generating twice as much energy as the building will use each year, feeding the rest back into the grid.