The built environment has a crucial role in achieving social, economic and environmental sustainability and one of the key aims of Spinningfields is to create a national example of sustainable urban regeneration. This is being achieved by the following:
Good design is paramount to the creation of successful buildings and spaces and has a range of economic, social and environmental benefits. Good design is driven by the way that buildings and spaces are used, but also has the flexibility to cope with potential future uses. Research by CABE has shown that well designed and planned buildings make positive contributions in many ways; from aiding employee satisfaction to inspiring public participation and reducing crime. Allied London is passionate about good design and intelligent architecture and undergoes extensive reviews throughout the design process. The Spinningfields’ design team includes a selection of the world’s best urban architects (Foster and Partners, Sheppard Robson, Denton Corker Marshall, BDP, RHWL) and each development to date has been tendered through an architectural competition with extensive consultation.
Clustering and Competitiveness
Michael Porter was one of the instigators of the government’s current regional strategy and urban agenda. His arguments centre on the benefits of business clustering and developing competitive core cities, rather than being reliant on a single city. The location of Spinningfields in the centre of Manchester ensures that it has access to a local workforce, as well as proximity to other businesses. One of the ambitions of Spinningfields is to become a world-class business location, attracting large-scale inward investment and helping create a sustainable regional economic base. The consolidation of the Royal Bank of Scotland, the construction of the country’s largest regional Civil Justice Centre and the relocation of Halliwells LLP have already helped pave the way to achieve this ambition.
Energy and Waste
Environmental sustainability is one of the most obvious and most easily calculated aspects of sustainability and the impact that buildings have on the environment is enormous; accounting for around 1/3rd of national carbon dioxide emissions. The environmental performance of buildings is measured by the BRE’s Environmental Assessment Method, which quantifies the performance of commercial buildings. All Spinningfields buildings are being designed to achieve Excellent BREEAM ratings and incorporate innovative and intelligent environmental solutions – particularly by meeting and exceeding the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. For example, the Civil Justice Centre incorporates an environmental veil, natural ventilation and borehole cooling. The effects of these features are threefold: an increase in the energy efficiency, a reduction in fuel bills and lower periodic costs due to minimisation of plant. All these effects help to minimise whole-life costs.
The accessibility of Spinningfields is important for both environmental and social reasons. The city centre location ensures that there is a large catchment area and excellent public transport links. Allied London are conscious of the government’s commitment to reducing the need for travel by the private car, and Spinningfields is a co-funder of the Metroshuttle bus, which is a frequent, free-to-user service that connects the principal transport nodes of the city. Spinningfields also provides a key link between the city centre and Salford via a new pedestrian bridge across the River Irwell. In addition, each building is designed with the requirements of the 1995 DDA and based on the principles of inclusive access for all.
Equality and Diversity
Mixed-use development is seen by the ODPM as the mainstay for increasing the viability and vitality of town and city centres. To Allied London, mixed-use is more than just a shop at the ground floor of an office block. The Spinningfields vision will make use of a Masterplanned shopping and restaurant environment, 6 acres of public space and an ongoing site management regime in order to create a comprehensive and inclusive public environment. It is estimated that Spinningfields will become home to around 25,000 employees and 1,000 residents, and in addition will host many hundreds of thousands of business and leisure visitors. All of these characteristics will be used to build a sense of place and a vibrant city district.
The success of many projects is not determined by the initial ideas or the design; it is determined by the quality of the ongoing management. This is particularly so for real estate, due to its long life and wide range of stakeholders. For this reason, the Spinningfields Management Company has been set up by Allied London. The management company has responsibility for all aspects of estate management, including security, cleaning, events, lighting, signage and maintenance. The company will initially be run by Allied London but over time its management will be vested with the occupiers of Spinningfields. By giving control to the real stakeholders, the decisions and the role of the estate management will be the most sustainable.
Brownfield urban regeneration brings an improved quality of life to a great number of people without exacerbating the unsustainable trends of urban sprawl and over-development of Greenfield land. Spinningfields has already changed the perception of its immediate and wider locality and, by offering modern, user-friendly offices in a mixed-use managed environment, it is providing a base for further inward investment. The result of this inward investment, if managed wisely, will be the creation of a large-scale sustainable city district providing high quality, local employment.
Health and Safety
Allied London is committed to design and develop in a safe way to ensure high standards of health and safety both throughout the construction process and during the occupation thereafter.
Allied London has installed a site-wide telecommunications and IT infrastructure consisting of a 10-duct network. It has been designed to be future-proofed to give tenants choice of provider, dual building entry, resilient supply and flexibility of use and to provide Allied London with capacity for internal communications. The Allied London duct network will provide interconnect points to existing networks owned by PTOs (public telecommunications operators).
The site-wide duct network provides a sustainable solution to current and future needs, by minimising network connection time and costs and allowing for increased capacity without construction of new below-ground infrastructure.
Corporate Responsibility Policy
Allied London is committed to achieving core policy objectives particularly relevant to the built environment and these are set out in our Corporate Responsibility Policy: