Holbein Gardens: A positive step on the net zero office refurbishment journey

Holbein Gardens before and after

Armed with new net zero carbon targets, developer Grosvenor tested these out on a tired 1980s office building near Sloane Square

How to successfully turn tired old office buildings into net zero exemplars is the question every major developer is asking itself. Most of them have committed themselves to ambitious net zero goals thanks to occupier and investor pressure but now they have the difficult job of turning words into action.

Property group Grosvenor has been on this journey and is now putting the finished touches to its first net zero office building. Next door to London’s Sloane Square tube station, 7 Holbein Place, which was completed in the 1980’s, and not touched since, was tired, inefficient, and out of date. Built from a red brown brick, the five storey building with ribbon tinted windows and lead covered mansard roof would have been more at home in a regional town rather than one of London’s most prestigious addresses. Knowing that it was getting full vacant possession at the end of 2019, in the summer of that year Grosvenor started weighing up what it could do with the site. “We looked at a variety of options to meet our estate needs and wider business strategy,” explain Philip George, project director for Grosvenor. “We considered new build, conversion to residential, building over the tube station and joining up with the neighbouring building.”

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