Planning submitted for Liverpool’s first operational net-zero carbon building – ‘HEMISPHERE’
A planning application for flexible Grade A office building HEMISPHERE, Liverpool City Region’s first operational net zero carbon building, has been submitted.
Sciontec Developments is behind the new, eight-storey standout office development to be located on Paddington Village, in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) Innovation District.
Alongside the 120,000 sq ft of flexible Grade A office space, HEMISPHERE will include an array of collaboration spaces, a wellness studio, café, alongside extensive new areas of high-quality public realm.
If Sciontec’s planning application is approved, construction will begin on the site, which is owned by Liverpool City Council, in summer 2023, and will complete by summer 2025.
Colin Sinclair, CEO of Sciontec, said: “HEMISPHERE will be Sciontec’s first new build project and one which will enhance our existing provision of high quality workspace for leading health, science, technology and digital businesses in the Liverpool City Region.
“HEMISPHERE will also generate a wide range of economic, social, and environmental benefits for the local area, and together with our partners, we are proud to be developing a unique building with innovative amenities that support health, social and cultural wellbeing.”
The wellbeing considerations for HEMISPHERE have been an integral part of its configuration. The building has been designed to achieve a Platinum Well standard, is aiming for a BREEAM rating of ‘very good’ and is expected to achieve the principles of an operational net-zero carbon building – the first of its kind in the Liverpool City Region.
HEMISPHERE’s sustainability ethos has been heavily backed by Sciontec, with support from Liverpool City Council, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Bruntwood SciTech, and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) via a pre-development funding support package for the joint venture.
This follows the £12m already invested in Paddington Village from the combined authority’s Single Investment Fund for enabling works, unlocking economic potential to accelerate growth for the city region.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Developments like this are befitting of a modern, forward-looking city region like ours. Sciontec’s plans for HEMISPHERE encapsulate much of my vision for the region: Harnessing the expertise of our world class universities in the heart of the Knowledge Quarter, attracting nationwide jobs and housing it all in one of the cleanest, greenest buildings in our region – the first to be operationally net zero.
“With world leading industry clusters in infectious disease control, materials chemistry, and AI, all on our doorstep, we have a thriving innovation economy. But to keep it growing, it’s vital that we are able to offer businesses the high-tech, sustainable office space they need to flourish and catapult our area to the forefront of UK innovation. HEMISPHERE will help take us there.”
In addition to HEMISPHERE’s leading environmental considerations, the building’s striking architecture and visual design has also been carefully masterminded. Getting its name from the two sides of the human brain, where the right hand cerebrum is creative and imaginative and the left academic and logical, HEMISPHERE will embody these characteristics and has been designed to have its own personality, look and feel, with features that differentiate one side from the other.
A lighting installation on the building has also been developed to represent the movement of data through the longitudinal fissure, the connection of the cerebral hemispheres to different parts of the body and the façade of the building is characterised by reduced glazing levels and opening windows to help limit the amount of energy required to operate the building.
Rob Hopkins, director and head of sustainability at AHR, said: “Through evidence-based design and by promoting standards that are continually monitored, HEMISPHERE will create a place for a happier and healthier workforce which is more creative and productive.”
Sciontec’s planning application for HEMISPHERE was supported by a health and wellbeing statement which sought to determine the potential health impacts of the development in accordance with key health themes, identified by the Health Urban Development Unit Rapid Assessment Tool. The health and wellbeing statement concluded that HEMISPHERE is to have a positive health effect on key health themes.
A four-week public consultation period was also held in May, from which 85% of consultation respondents stated that they support or strongly support the proposed development, with no objections to the HEMISPHERE scheme being received.
Hannah Walker, planning associate director at Barton Willmore, now Stantec, said: “We hope that the planning application will be granted to enable Sciontec to create an exemplary building that occupiers and the general public can both enjoy.
Public support for HEMISPHERE was also evident at the recent Liverpool City Region Property Dinner 2022, with Sciontec’s development receiving the Future Ambition Award, coming out on top in the public vote.
Liverpool City Council, as landowner, is working with Sciontec to deliver the project that will continue to support growth and jobs within the KQ Liverpool Innovation District.