NEWS Building Services

81 Newgate Street Granted Planning Permission

The City of London Planning & Transportation Committee has granted planning for 81 Newgate Street, the former BT Headquarters in the City of London.

Following the sale of the site to Orion Capital Managers, Hilson Moran was appointed by developer, Pella Real Estate Partners to design the environmental engineering concept, including vertical transportation, environmental studies and the security strategy. Our term included preparation of the relevant supporting technical documentation required for the formal full planning application, working in close collaboration with Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects, planning consultants Montagu Evans and structural consultants AKT II.

81 Newgate Street will include 500,000 ft2 of high-quality commercial office space and a range of amenities including a swimming pool and gym, retail and a free publicly accessible roof terrace with views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the City. To contribute to the City of London’s Culture Mile masterplan, the scheme proposes to improve physical permeability across the island city block, show visual transparency at street level and provide active street frontages.

Implementing Hilson Moran’s Circular Design Framework principles, our holistic strategy places environmental sustainability and, health and wellbeing at the forefront of the project’s primary objectives, offering a long term net zero carbon asset for the investor, futureproofed to deal with predicted future climate scenarios.


Our sustainable design approach prioritises low energy passive design measures including optimising the daylight and solar gain balance through the facades, maximising natural ventilation opportunities which provides a 10% reduction in predicted operational carbon emissions.

We have proposed a fossil fuel free all-electric powered building systems design, taking advantage of the decarbonisation of grid electricity, by using air to air heat pumps supported by a central thermal storage system. Our innovative design solution, proven by our in-house computer fluid dynamic analysis, stacked the heat pumps on the north elevation in the least possible footprint, allowing maximum roof space for public and tenant amenities.

The health and wellbeing of occupants and city dwellers are equally considered through detailed thermal and microclimatic modelling for internal and external environments. This is in addition to noise and air quality assessments and consideration of third-party certification schemes that prioritise occupant health.

The stepping of facades to remove visual infringement on St. Paul’s Cathedral and an extensive roof garden will also contribute additional surfaces for urban greening, enhanced biodiversity, and occupier amenity space.

Our early pre-assessment has set the project on a course of aspiring to achieve BREEAM Outstanding for the offices, prioritising the energy, water, pollution, and materials section of the scheme.

Our pioneering design for performance approach has been recognised as setting a new benchmark in designing and operating the first of a new generation of net-zero carbon office schemes in London, to meet the proposed UKGBC Paris Proof 2050 energy use intensity target.

Our breadth of knowledge and experience on existing and up and coming London planning regulations and technical supporting details required, has also been demonstrated by this high-profile development receiving from the City of London, a successful planning permission with no objections.

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