London Borough of Camden gets BREEAM's highest bespoke building rating

London Borough of Camden gets BREEAM's highest bespoke building rating

Connecting to low-carbon energy network in King's Cross, 5 Pancreas Square got an 'Outstanding' sustainability rating and won a BREEAM global award in 2013.


Constructed in a prime location in London, 5 Pancreas Square has been a success story for Camden Borough. The building is was designed to meet the highest of sustainability standards and earned very high BREEAM scores across the categories.


Camden London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Camden in Greater London, England.


Constructed behind King’s Cross Station, 5 Pancreas Square was commissioned by the London Borough of Camden to benefit the local community and meet sustainability standards.


The building needed to meet all of the following criterion:

  • Connection to the King’s Cross (CHP) Energy Centre providing low carbon heating and electricity to the building

  • A commitment to achieve very high standards of environmental awareness on-site during construction

  • Exclusive use of ‘responsibly sourced’ materials

  • A commitment to minimise construction waste and divert a proportion of the waste from landfill

  • Extensive consultation with the public, stakeholders, local authority, security consultants and access consultants to help steer the design process

  • Steps taken in the facade design to maximise daylight factors throughout the occupied areas, and to minimise artificial lighting requirements through adopting daylight linking/dimming

  • A prime location with access to numerous transport nodes (King’s Cross Station, King’s Cross St Pancras, King’s Cross Underground, local bus network etc)

  • Significant cycle storage throughout the King’s Cross Central development, with the BREEAM requirement for cycle storage exceeded through storage adjacent to the building in the basement and at ground floor

  • Extensive sub-metering throughout the building to monitor energy and water use

  • Photovoltaics to achieve zero carbon status

  • A strong emphasis on passive design solutions



The building connects to the King’s Cross low-carbon district heating network, distributed from a combined heat and power energy centre. This provides all of the low-temperature hot water requirements to heat the building and its domestic hot water systems.

The leisure centre areas are comfort cooled via an all-air system. The offices, library and access centre are served via a number of air handling units to provide a ‘zoned’ displacement ventilation system, responding to changes in occupancy and orientation.

The building’s cooling is provided via ultra-high efficiency air cooled chillers located at roof level. These chillers are operated to meet maximum efficiency via an intelligent multi-sequencing controller. This allows part-load running of two or more chillers to meet desired loads in order to improve seasonal efficiency.

The swimming pools in the building provide a steady heat load allowing the low-carbon energy centre to operate for longer. This results in the generation of greater electricity offsets. The inclusion of photovoltaics at roof level enables the building to further benefit from renewable energy.


Audited by BREEAM, the building got an overall score of ‘Outstanding’ for its commitment to sustainability. It was given the following ratings for each category:

  • Waste: 85.71%

  • Land use and ecology: 100%

  • Management: 94.44%

  • Transport: 92.31%

  • Energy: 91.87%

  • Pollution: 91.67%

Highlights from BREEAM’s assessment included:

  • Very low energy consumption

  • Higher density occupancy of building, including hot-desking

  • Reduction in paper filing from over 30km to a target of 4.5k, an average of 1.5m per member of staff

  • Improved recycling facilities within the offices

  • Improved parking for cyclists visiting public facilities

  • Improved facilities for employees cycling

  • Monitoring of the building during occupation against predicted energy use

  • A robust life cycle cost profile enabling future costs to be better managed

  • Carbon emissions reduced by an estimated 64% compared to the operation of the current buildings, representing a saving of more than £500k per annum

  • Benefits to the local community from the decision to use apprentices, particularly those who live locally or have been trained in the King’s Cross Construction Training Centre.

Summary Bennetts Associates Ltd and LA Architects Ltd


Bennetts Associates Ltd and LA Architects Ltd
Kier Construction
Structural Engineer:
Grontmij Ltd
BREEAM Bespoke – 2008
BREEAM rating:
Outstanding (97.5%)

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