Sustainable redevelopment

Sustainable redevelopment

Brickfields, Hoxton

Built specifically for heavy engineering works in the 1970s, Cremer Street Studios in Hoxton had low floor to ceiling heights, poor quality brick and concrete which meant that it didn’t meet the requirements of modern businesses today. We therefore decided to demolish and create a brand-new centre, renamed Brickfields, designed to BREEAM Excellent standard, whilst retaining 65% of the existing foundations and saving embodied carbon. Collaboration across all teams was essential to build this adaptable, durable and ‘circular’ asset.

Building features

Future adaptability

  • Steel frame construction with a clear and generous services zone, tall ceiling heights and good daylight offer substantial adaptability in terms of subdivision and re-servicing. The combination of durability and flexibility should offer a long, useful life.


  • Due to the weight of the demolished structure, the capacity of the existing foundations was re-used by building in relatively lightweight new construction.
  • The brick and concrete demolition waste was crushed and almost all re-used on site. The steel reinforcement was separated and recycled.
  • Since it is predominantly dry construction, the building can be disassembled and separated into components which can be re-used. The use of an engineering brick with a weak class 4 mortar is intended to permit separation and re-use of bricks.

Energy efficiency

  • Followed principles of ‘Fabric first; Efficient services and low-carbon heat; Maximising on-site renewables’, set out in the UKGBC’s 2019 Net Zero Framework.
  • Both the heating and cooling systems and surface water drainage have been designed to accommodate adaptation to climate change.
  • Highly insulated following current best practice, and highly airtight.
  • A good ratio of glass to façade; combined with a low G-value, keeps solar gain low.
  • Common parts are naturally ventilated, and the studios, which have exposed concrete soffits for high thermal mass, are ventilated by opening windows and mechanically heated and cooled.
  • Low-carbon heat through high performance roofmounted Air Source Heat Pumps and Variable Refrigerant Flow units in each studio.
  • Full metering of each unit, following best practice, enabling detailed review of use and performance.
  • On-site renewables estimated to generate 4% of primary energy usage.


  • Zero parking, with 108 cycle parking spaces.
  • Landscaped yard between the building and the railway viaduct offers outdoor amenity space to tenants and neighbours.


  • Soft Landings framework was followed to close the performance gap between design and operation. Substantial user engagement will be carried through for three years after practical completion, implemented through the centre management.
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