Francis Crick Institute rated ‘Excellent’ for environmental sustainability

26 May 2017

Francis Crick Institute exterior

The Francis Crick Institute building has now received an 'Excellent' BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating with a final score of 74%, reflecting our strong environmental sustainability credentials.

BREEAM is the world's leading sustainability assessment tool for planning, infrastructure and building projects. The award reflects sustainable practice in ten key categories: energy, health and wellbeing, innovation, land use, materials, management, pollution, transport, waste and water.

The Crick building was designed with sustainability in mind, which was achieved by working in close collaboration with key partners at every stage of the building process. Engineering firm ARUP designed highly efficient systems to run the building while minimising waste, working closely with architects HOK and PLP who designed the building to maximise natural light. Contractors Laing O'Rourke delivered the building with an emphasis on sustainability.

The BREEAM assessment was conducted by AECOM, a fully integrated global infrastructure firm. Sustainability principles were embraced by the project from early design stages. AECOM, in close collaboration with the design and client team, worked to develop a bespoke BREEAM Assessment, flexible and tailored to the building's unique nature, aiming to promote opportunities for incorporating sustainable design features.

To keep carbon dioxide emissions low, the building uses an on-site combined heat and power system. 1,700 square metres of solar panels are installed in the south-facing roof of the building to provide renewable energy. In addition, extensive use of glass in the design allows natural light to flood into the building and all light fittings are energy-efficient. A specialist ecology team advised the project, and the building now has high-quality landscape areas and wild roof 'gardens' to attract wildlife.

Francis Crick Institute solar panels

Nick Carter, Director of Building Services at the Francis Crick Institute, says: "We are delighted to receive the coveted 'Excellent' BREEAM rating. This is a testament to our focus on sustainability and the excellent work of all of our partners who delivered a truly sustainable cutting-edge building fit for the future."

BREEAM assessor Sarra Pardali, Sustainability Associate at AECOM, says: "The achievement of the BREEAM 'Excellent' is the culmination of a long-term effort and collaborative approach among designers, client and contractor team. Having been with the project since the early planning stages, we are absolutely thrilled to have successfully completed the BREEAM Certification of the Francis Crick Institute; this project is a showcase for the principles sustainable development being successfully integrated in a technologically complex building."

Catherine Wells, Associate Director at Arup, says: "Arup is very proud to have met the Building Services Engineering and Project Management challenges in delivering BREEAM Excellent for the Crick. The creativity and ingenuity in meeting such demanding environmental requirements and complex building systems is a credit to the engineering design team."

Francis Crick Institute exterior from Midland

David King, Director and Senior Vice President, HOK, says: "For the Francis Crick Institute to receive an 'Excellent' BREEAM rating is a fantastic achievement, and a reflection of the commitment of the design and development team to creating a building that embodies strong sustainability principles and sets new standards for contemporary design in London. It has been a privilege to lead a design team so committed to such standards of excellence."

Wayne McKiernan, Director at PLP Architecture, says: "Sustainability is ingrained into all the buildings we work on, regardless of size, location or typology. It is not an afterthought but an integral strand of a holistic practice approach which ultimately great buildings stem from. With a building such as The Francis Crick achieving BREEAM Excellent couldn't have been done without the vision and determined efforts of the entire team from inception to completion and now on into its operation."

Rob Partridge, Project Director at structural engineering firm AKT II, says: "Achieving BREEAM excellent is testament to an integrated holistic design approach which through the use of intelligent 3D modelling coupled with the implementation of many innovative design and construction solutions, has created a lean and sustainable result."

Ross Hanson, Director at Turner & Townsend, who provided cost consultancy on the project, says: "Achieving BREEAM Excellent and significantly reducing the Crick's Whole Life Costs for a facility with such high technical complexity was a fantastic achievement via a concerted team effort."

  • The Francis Crick Institute building has received an 'Excellent' BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating with a final score of 74%, reflecting our strong environmental sustainability credentials.
  • BREEAM is the world's leading sustainability assessment tool for planning, infrastructure and building projects.
  • The Crick building was designed with sustainability in mind, achieved by working in close collaboration with key partners at every stage of the building process.