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Grosvenor hits 1 million sq ft of refurbs

27th February 2024

Grosvenor’s UK real estate arm has announced the successful sustainable retrofit of 1 million sq ft of space. 

The developer and investor, owned by the Duke of Westminster, said this represented “a significant milestone” in the company’s £90 million commitment to improve the environmental performance of its portfolio in the capital, and its wider ambition to reach net zero.

Grosvenor also declared its support for the creation of a UK National Retrofit Strategy, with incentives and financing options to encourage refurbishment.  

Since launching its retrofit programme in 2020, over 360 offices, shops, and homes have been transformed to optimise energy efficiency. Many of these projects - of which around 70% are commercial and 30% residential - were completed with occupiers in situ; with interventions including converting lightbulbs to LEDs, installing double glazed windows and insulation.

The company has also decommissioned 55 boilers and replaced them with fossil fuel-free alternatives helping to drive a 40% reduction in gas usage since Grosvenor Property UK’s carbon baseline was established in 2019.

Grosvenor’s development programme is also prioritising retrofits. Since 2020 an additional 250,000 sq ft of space has been refurbished, rather than being demolished, to save carbon. This includes the delivery of Grosvenor’s first net zero carbon office building, Holbein Gardens (pictured above), and the transformation of Newson’s Yards, to create a new design industry destination in Belgravia from a former timber yard and significant refurbishments of The Barley Mow and The Audley, two grade II listed pubs in Mayfair.

Ed Green, sustainability director at Grosvenor Property UK, said: “At a time when we consistently breached the 1.5°C barrier for the first time, decarbonising homes and workspaces must be accelerated. Simple cost-effective changes can significantly reduce energy demand and improve a building’s sustainability. Acting now to make straightforward low cost changes is a more effective approach than postponing activity until a full building refurbishment may be possible.”

In 2024, Grosvenor will upgrade a 250,000 sq ft and refurbish fourteen listed buildings as part of its South Molton development, using recycled steel, reclaimed bricks and anti-pollutant tiles, leaving historic external structures largely untouched.

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