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Kingsgate House Scores UK Sustainable First

Jan 14 2014

Kingsgate HouseWork has now completed on Kingsgate House, a seven-storey residential project in West London that is the first major construction project in the world to achieve PEFC Project Certification.

Located on the King’s Road, Kingsgate House provides 43 affordable residential units. Designed by Horden Cherry Lee Architects (HCL) and built by main contractor Willmott Dixon, the structure contains 1092m3 of PEFC-certified cross laminated timber (CLT) supplied by KLH UK. The site area is approximately 1345m2 (0.13 hectares) and the striking design is set to be an exemplar sustainable building, achieving Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, with the PEFC-certified solid wood acting as a natural, low carbon and renewable alternative to steel and concrete.

Stephen Cherry, from HCL said: “Reasons for the use of CLT have to be taken early in the design process to ensure the design evolves as an integrated solution. At Kingsgate we have all worked together at every stage and for this project to be the UK’s first PEFC Project Certified scheme is recognition of this holistic design approach to sustainable construction.”

Project Chain of Custody certification recognises that not all parties involved in specific projects are certified and has been developed in recognition that the standard Chain of Custody model does not work with one-off activities such as construction projects.

“The Project Certification of this major construction project is a global first for PEFC,” said Alun Watkins, who heads up PEFC in the UK. “We are very excited about it and feel the lessons learned and the promotion of the project will be valuable in moving Project Certification forward everywhere. The majority of solid wood solutions such as CLT and glulam are from PEFC-certified origin and schemes using these materials find PEFC Project Certification readily achievable.”

“CLT has brought many benefits to this project which is based in a densely populated and busy part of London,” said Julie Brooks, Environmental and Sustainability Manager for Willmott Dixon. “As a form of construction, CLT has saved time and money and reduced the amount of embodied carbon on the scheme. Willmott Dixon wanted to demonstrate that our processes and supply chain can deliver in line with our sustainable procurement policy. At Kingsgate House 100% of wood products supplied are certified as ‘legal and sustainable’ and we achieved 96.3% PEFC-certified timber by volume, which posed no difficulties in material sourcing at all.”

“As firm believers that timber is the one truly renewable construction material but also a viable alternative to traditional methods of construction, KLH were delighted to be involved in such a prestigious project and help the team achieve PEFC Project Certification.” said Toby Reynolds, Commercial Director for KLH UK. “The whole supply chain had to follow strict guidelines and KLH learnt a lot along the journey. This is a massive step for the industry and is invaluable for the future of timber construction and we will definitely be promoting Project Certification in the future.”

Award presentation

From left to right: Stephen Cherry, Alastair McGregor, Steve Cook, Julie Brooks, David Jowett and Alun Watkins

The Project Certificate was presented to Willmott Dixon at a special event at the Building Centre, London by BM TRADA and PEFC UK. After a detailed and rigorous auditing process of the Kingsgate supply chain carried out by BM TRADA, the Project Certification status provides robust independent assurance that all timber used on the project is from legal and sustainable sources in line with the Government’s timber procurement policy.

“The project was a success for Willmott Dixon because their staff were really committed to making it work,” said Alasdair McGregor, BM TRADA Technical Development Manager. “From the outset they set up a good system for recording timber deliveries to site and then applied sufficient resource to investigating areas where there were problems, such as missing information on some supplier delivery notes. Overall, it was an excellent performance and the company should be very pleased with the outcome.”

The CLT delivers structural solidity and an energy efficient building design and alongside the PEFC Project Certification status, residents will be living in one of the most comfortable and sustainable housing developments in the UK. It will also encourage more building developers and designers to look at Kingsgate House as a blueprint for future green buildings everywhere.

“Project Certification really can help promote sustainable forestry,” added Alun. “Buying PEFC-certified material ensures a good, positive message is passed up the supply chain. This helps forest owners understand the need for certified material and therefore helps to expand sustainable forestry on a global basis. Both PEFC and BM TRADA congratulate Willmott Dixon and all the project members on their approach to pursuing Project Certification for the timber used in this impressive building.”

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PEFC Certified

Forests area: 300 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 18,600

(as of June 2016)
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