Ecological Planning & Research

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breeam and code for sustainable homes

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, Howlands Street, Central London

University College London

EPR carried out an Ecological Appraisal and BREEAM Assessment in relation to proposals to demolish the former Windeyer Building in Central London, and replace it with a new state of the art neuroscience research centre, now in the final stages of construction and to be known as the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre.


As Suitably Qualified Ecologists (SQEs) under the BRE criteria, EPR provided advice and a specification to the client’s architects for the inclusion of a series of new living roofs, living walls and other ecological enhancements into the project design to help maximise the number of BREEAM credits that the scheme could achieve, and deliver meaningful biodiversity enhancement within a heavily urban context.


The substrate for these roofs was designed to support and maintain a wildflower-rich turf that is both visually attractive and biodiverse. The large number of wildflower and grass species which the roof can support in a relatively small area means that they are an excellent way to achieve ecology credits for BREEAM assessments.


The roofs will also benefit a range or invertebrate and bird species; in particular nectar-feeding invertebrates such as butterflies and bees. Features were also incorporated into the roofs to benefit Black Redstart, a rare bird that has been recorded locally in London, along with nest boxes for Swifts and House Sparrows.


In addition to biodiversity benefits, the largest area of living roof is also accessible by foot from the building, meaning that workers in the research centre can step out to enjoy their lunch breaks in an attractive and rich environment. Living roofs and walls have also been shown to provide a range of other practical benefits including cooling in summer and insulation in winter.


Following successful grant of planning consent, the living roofs and walls have now been installed.

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