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Behind the scenes at Canada Water

LCCI members recently went behind the scenes at Canada Water to hear how British Land is creating the most sustainable town centre in the UK – a joint venture with AustralianSuper and in partnership with Southwark Council. Stuart Pick, Senior Partnerships Manager at LCCI, was there.

In a tour of the site, presentations and detailed architectural models, British Land hosts Miles Price, planning director, and Karina Williams, senior sustainability manager, brought to life how – over the next decade – the development will deliver a new town centre for Southwark, with shops, restaurants, bars, offices and community and leisure facilities – with sustainability at its heart.

A matter of minutes from the City and West End, Canada Water will be one of London’s largest mixed use regeneration projects with a 53 acre masterplan expected to create 3,000 new homes, 2.5 million sq ft of workspace for 20,000 workers, one million sq ft of retail, leisure, education, culture and an extra 12 acres of parks, squares and open spaces.


Canada Water’s Sustainability Vision is focused on being the most sustainable regeneration project in the UK where the current and future community shape and share in the development’s success.

British Land has committed to making its entire portfolio net zero by 2030, using whole-life carbon reports and climate impact risk assessments in all of its projects and launching its innovative Transition Vehicle to accelerate progress. The first of its kind for the industry it imposes an internal levy of £60 per tonne of embodied carbon on their developments driving the use of innovative, low carbon materials and providing the funding to retrofit existing buildings.

In their planning work, British Land is delivering net zero and addressing climate change through its Sustainability Brief which challenges their whole supply chain to raise performance across design, construction and operation.


British Land is partnering with their main contractors pre-planning to maximise the potential of modern methods of construction and associated sustainability benefits, including the first use of cement free, earth-friendly concrete in permanent piling works in the UK and the use of ultra low carbon, and reusable concrete cassettes.

LCCI members saw how British Land will incorporate circular economy principles by repurposing the existing Printworks building into office use whilst maintaining aspects of the original aesthetics, giant machines and printing presses.


All buildings at Canada Water will use data in a smart way to continuously improve. The first two buildings to be completed will be among the first SmartScore buildings in the UK, where detailed monitoring provides usage patterns, optimizing efficiencies and reducing operational carbon. The transport strategy includes £33 million of transport improvements including to Canada Water Station and Surrey Quays Station, new bus routes, local highway improvements, and cycle hire docking stations.

This article originally featured in the September/October issue of London Business Matters Magazine.