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Swansea scheme design recognised for environmental excellence

Design work for a major new office development providing space for 600 jobs in Swansea has been recognised for its focus on helping further cut the city’s carbon footprint.

The high-tech office development planned for 71/72 The Kingsway will include a green roof, solar panels on top of the building, underfloor heating and heat recovery systems to minimise energy use.  

There will also be a rainwater capture feature, helping with water supply to plants and trees in and around the building. The green roof will reduce rainwater run-off, saving water consumption within the scheme. 

Glazing throughout the development will allow natural light into the building, further reducing energy consumption. External shading on the southern face of the scheme will help keep the building cool during hotter days, and doors and windows can be opened onto the building’s balconies and roof spaces – some of which overlook Swansea Bay.  

Swansea Council is behind the scheme, with main contractor Bouygues UK now on board to start construction this summer. 

The council worked in partnership with WSP, Architecture00, Gleeds, The Urbanists and Cushman & Wakefield on the scheme’s design – which has now been awarded prestigious BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) excellent status. 

Once complete and operational in 2023, the five-storey development will be carbon zero and worth £32.6 million a year to Swansea’s economy. 

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “Not only will the development at 71/72 The Kingsway provide space for 600 jobs in sectors like tech and digital, but it’ll also help Swansea further cut its carbon footprint. This is important if we’re leave not just a prosperous city for generations to come, but a sustainable one too. 

“The environmentally-friendly features due to form part of this development will build on a huge amount of work the council is already carrying out to create a greener and more sustainable city, as we head towards a target zero carbon future.

“This development also follows-on from a significant recent environmental upgrade of The Kingsway that’s helping attract more and more private sector investment.”

Greenery on a new pedestrian link between The Kingsway and Oxford Street also forms part of the development. This will also include rainwater capture to reduce water run-off. 

The building – within minutes of the city’s main bus and rail stations – is located on an active travel route, with recent improvements on The Kingsway providing wide walkways and cycleways. There will also be a bus stop immediately outside the building. 

Training and work placements for local people form part of the construction plans, as well as supply chain opportunities for local businesses. Discussions with a building operator and potential tenants are ongoing.

The 71/72 Kingsway development is being funded by Swansea Council and the Swansea Bay City Deal.  It is also supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.