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GSK project shortlisted for Building Magazine's 'Sustainable Project of the Year'

Simons Group have been shortlisted for Building Magazine’s ‘Sustainable Project of the Year‘ Award, for the GlaxoSmithKline’s low carbon Compliance Building, designed and created by Simons for GSK in Ware.

The Building Awards are the industry’s longest running and one of the most prestigious recognitions of property excellence, showcasing the best in all areas of construction, from individual projects to training and outstanding individuals over 21 categories.

In 2010, Simons Design were approached to consider the design and delivery of a low carbon facility at GSK’s facilities in Ware, thought to be GSK’s first-ever carbon negative facility. 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 balance back into the grid. The building will be closely monitored by GSK in-house BMS specialists over three years to check energy performance alongside a post occupancy satisfaction programme with the GSK employees using the facility.

Tom Robinson, Chief Executive of Simons said of the news, “I am thrilled to see the project and the team recognised within such an esteemed shortlist and would like to congratulate everyone shortlisted. The Compliance Building at Ware is testament to the importance of quality and relationships in business and proof of what can be achieved through innovation and collaboration. With the levels of sustainability that are embedded in this building, we hope that it inspires the wider GSK team and companies alike to see what can be possible in the realms of sustainable construction. We look forward to celebrating the project at the ceremony in November.“ 

To see the full list of winners, please use the following link:


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