July 22, 2018

TCL Group achieves Supply Chain Sustainability School silver standard


An organisation funded by the UK’s leading housing developers to improve the sustainability of the entire construction supply chain has awarded the TCL its coveted silver standard.

The Supply Chain Sustainability School, whose sponsors include Barratt, Taylor WimpeyWillmott Dixon and Redrow, was set up to enable companies in the housebuilding and FM sectors to meet the combined challenges of the government’s building targets and environmental standards while addressing issues identified in the Modern Slavery and Immigration Acts of 2015 and 2014.

It aims to encourage supply chain competence and provides a range of resources to enable organisations along the supply chain to embed sustainable, collaborative construction practices.

The fact that 80% of the turnover of major contractors goes to their supply chain highlights the importance of ensuring sustainable practices are in place at every stage of the process.

The school provides free practical support to construction companies, sub-contractors and those in the FM sector in the form of CPD accredited e-learning modules, training workshops, bench marking tools and access to thousands of on line resources. It also offers toolbox talks on issues such as modern slavery in the FM sector, fairness, inclusion and respect and delivering social value.

Members have reported benefitting from cost and time savings, new business contracts, increased competitive advantage, reduced risk and enhanced reputation.

Sustainable practices play a vital role in helping achieve the government’s target of delivering a million new homes by 2020 allied with the UK Construction Strategy 2025 which sets out a vision for long-term strategic action to promote the UK construction sector.

The school aims to hammer home the need to eliminate the link between economic growth and increased environmental impact while also delivering increased social value –that is, delivering more from less.

The supply chain sustainability initiatives will be applied across the whole TCL Group – Burleys, TCL, Plantscape, Ice Watch and Playforce.

TCL Group QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety and Environment) manager Gary Moore said the next stage is for the TCL Group to aim for the gold standard, before considering achieving partner status.


SOM masterplan for Colombo, Sri Lanka features designs by Grant Associates


Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has won an international competition to design a new finance and marina district for Sri Lanka’s largest city Colombo with a masterplan created in collaboration with Grant Associates.

Backed by the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), the scheme will see the transformation of 269 hectares of reclaimed land next to Colombo’s Central Business District (CBD), and aims to create a landmark destination for commerce, tourism, and culture in South Asia.

Featuring a marina, canals and a sequence of public parks, the masterplan will feature a ‘new skyline’ of skyscrapers that is visible from different viewpoints across the city.

In addition, walkways and a central plaza will extend around the edges of the new marina, creating a varied public realm that connects to Colombo’s main port and the historic Galle Face Green recreation ground.

Inspired by Sri Lanka’s geography, ecology and tropical climate, SOM conceived the Port City masterplan concept with Grant Associates acting as consultant landscape architect.

SOM and Grant Associates’ vision was selected as the unanimous winner by an international jury, which commented that the scheme demonstrated ‘exceptional sensitivity to the ecological and cultural context of Sri Lanka’.

The new district is expected to complete in 2041.

Andrew Grant, Director at Grant Associates, comments: “A varied and engaging public realm was a key part of the design brief for Port City Colombo. Working in close collaboration with SOM, our aim was to create a sequence of spaces that complement Colombo’s unique geological character while integrating the new cityscape into the fabric of the existing city.”

Design details:

Sri Lanka’s varied landscape and complex tropical climate form the key design inspirations for the Port City Colombo masterplan. The squares, canal edges, gardens, a new harbour, and a new city park take cues from the local environment to create a public realm that is rooted in the country’s unique geography and ecology.

Inspired by hanging gardens, the central civic plaza features shaded promenades that encircle a new city marina at the waterfront. The locally inspired design approach is also apparent along the canal edge promenade, where inlets of varying character reference the lagoons of Sri Lanka’s rich and characterful coastline.

A new cultural venue placed at the seafront and immediately adjacent to the CBD of Port City Colombo will encourage people to gravitate toward the waterfront and create an iconic backdrop to the marina.

High rise buildings produce a new skyline for Port City Colombo, helping to forge a strong sense of identity for the district that is visible from key points across the city.


Cregagh Green is first UK project to be awarded London Marathon Charitable Trust funding

East Belfast’s Cregagh Green is the first project in the UK to be awarded funding by the London Marathon Charitable Trust (LMCT) as part of the Active Spaces programme, delivered in partnership with Fields in Trust to protect and activate outdoor recreation spaces.

Cregagh Green will now be protected in perpetuity through a legal Deed of Dedication between Belfast City Council and Fields in Trust. And a grant of £5,000 will help to promote physical activity and community participation in the space where George Best, dubbed by the Irish Football Association as the “greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland”, first kicked a football as a young boy.

Councillor Adam Newton of Belfast City Council’s People and Communities Committee said: “We’ve committed in our Belfast Agenda to making sure that everyone in Belfast experiences good health and wellbeing and that everyone in Belfast will be able to enjoy its parks and public spaces, so we’re delighted to have secured this investment.

“It means that this valuable green space which has a unique association with one of our most famous sons, George Best, will be safeguarded, and that we can encourage more local people to follow in his footsteps and get active in Cregagh Green.

“Getting active in green spaces can have such a positive impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. What’s even better is that it’s free to get out and explore your local park or green space.”

Chief Grants Officer for The London Marathon Charitable Trust, Sarah Ridley, said: “Since 1981, The London Marathon Charitable Trust has funded a huge range of projects which have inspired millions of people to get active. Delivered in partnership with Fields in Trust, Active Spaces is our first nationwide funding initiative. It’s great to see Cregagh Green become the first in the long list of inspiring projects which will be permanently protected through funding from The Trust enabling local people to enjoy the benefits of physical activity into the future.”

Chief Executive of Fields in Trust, Helen Griffiths, said: “We believe the best way to protect our green spaces is for communities to get out and use them; this programme is encouraging new groups of users to enjoy their local green space. We will identify sites which are well loved by their communities and protect these spaces forever. The associated activity on site can help catalyse a local community to use their recreational space and get active.”


Plaistow Hub given go ahead after receiving planning permission by Newham Council


Newham Council has granted planning permission for Plaistow Hub, a high-quality residential development in east London designed by Pitman Tozer Architects, for client Red Door Ventures.

The two-plot development straddles Plaistow Road and features 100 flats on the London Road plot, in a scheme rising to 23 storeys, and a further 82 homes in Valetta Grove in a building which steps up to 15 storeys.

Gillespies has delivered public realm and landscape design proposals for the two sites. The proposed public realms will unite the two developments through improved pedestrian links, new connections, extensive tree planting, planting, active frontages and the introduction of high-quality public spaces. The proposals will also double the size of the existing station square, creating an enhanced transport interchange.

The project is due to start on site in Spring 2018.

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St James appoints Murdoch Wickham for 10 acre White City Living development

St James

St James has announced that Murdoch Wickham has been appointed as the principal landscape architect on its major regeneration project, White City Living. The practice aims to completely transform the hard, urban character of the 10-acre, zone 2 location, in order to create a green residential oasis.

White City Living will introduce, in total, eight acres of open space to an area of previously inaccessible industrial land at the heart of White City on Wood Lane. The project’s masterplan, by Patel Taylor, will create 1,477 new homes, ranging from studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes to penthouses, as well as boutique retail and commercial space designed to balance the existing area offering from neighbouring Westfield London.

This open space will incorporate a new five-acre public park which will be accessed off Wood Lane via a new bridge and pedestrian deck over the central line, opening up the entrance to the site, previously cut off from White City.

A series of refurbished railway arches will also be opened and revitalised, creating important new pedestrian routes and improving connectivity from Westfield through the development.

Murdoch Wickham’s vision uses distinctive, interlinked garden areas with subtle themes, and shared access routes, water features and extensive planting. The landscape proposals include:

  • Publicly accessible seasonal gardens with outdoor seating and extensive lawns. The gardens each create a different sense of scale and are increasingly more intimate in character
  • A dedicated Magnolia garden to be enjoyed by residents, which neighbours the indoor swimming pool of the residents’ facilities, creating a serene and beautiful place for private use
  • Public artworks to mark entrance points and support wayfinding and orientation throughout the development
  • A ‘calm zone’ park rich with water features, illuminated by night, with decked areas extending over the water connecting to sheltered, outdoor communal terraces for residents’ use
  • A meandering green park along the southern boundary of the site, adjacent to a number of existing railway arches that are designated for rejuvenation
  • The green route is further enlivened and animated by shallow pools and water jets, designed to encourage play and echo the fluvial design of the area

The carefully considered range of planting types will serve to enhance the ecology and biodiversity of the area, and will include semi-mature trees including pine, oak, birch, cherry and maple.

Sean Ellis, Chairman, St James, commented: “Murdoch Wickham’s ambitious vision for our new landscape for White City Living will be a complete transformation. The former warehouse site will be unrecognisable – instead offering a range of beautiful public and private spaces, designed to foster a sense of place, thanks to a well-balanced mix of uses. It’s an inspiring design and we can’t wait to see it realised.”

Construction began in 2017, and first homes are due to be completed for late 2019. The new pedestrian decks over the Central Line for Wood Lane will be complete in early 2018: the first step towards an improved landscape for White City.