16 December 2015

The KLH Christmas Round-up

It has been an incredibly busy year for KLH Sustainability. In the first half of the year we welcomed Abby and Rosa to the team to help with a burgeoning workload, and in the second half of the year Chloe left for a year-long sabbatical, hopefully to return to our shores sometimes next summer and Samantha went on maternity leave.

So, the size of the team waxes and wanes, but our unique approach to sustainability remains in demand! We plan to introduce a new intern early next year to help fill the temporary gap left by Samantha and Chloe.

Our major projects this year include the exciting 1500 zero-carbon home Eastwick and Sweetwater development on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Abby is doing an amazing job managing the myriad of sustainability requirements that have to be addressed through the Phase 1 design phase; water efficiency, zero carbon, climate resilience, integrated biodiversity, smart cities and sustainable living….all the things that we love at KLH! We work directly alongside the developers, Balfour Beatty Investments and Places for People, and spend a lot of time with the six architects and associated consulting engineers for this prestigious project.


Abby has also taken over from Samantha on the Olympic Stadium Legacy conversion, so she is getting to know Hackney Wick and the surrounding area of East London quite well! These two projects will be keeping her busy well in to 2016, but with the imminent arrival of the new intern, we hope to liberate some business development time for her!


Kristina has been busy on the other side of London, where KLH continue the long-standing collaboration with the BskyB Masterplan team to deliver a sustainable new campus for 7000 staff. 2015 saw the completion of the Believe in Better Building, a beautiful timber framed building focussed on provision of training and apprenticeships for Sky’s core business. In addition, the Health and Fitness Centre opened its doors, providing the Sky community with a first class gym and an airy yoga studio. The enormous Building 2 continues apace where last minute design changes have challenged the team but the first members of staff should be welcomed to the new office space early next year.




Kristina has also been bringing her unique background of architect-cum-engineer to facilitate the further integration of sustainability in to Elliott Wood and Make. She will continue with this triad of roles through 2016, but she should also find some breathing space to explore a new training offering that has been bubbling away in the creative minds at KLH.


Rosa meanwhile has been enjoying the hubbub of Piccadilly Circus where she manages the sustainable construction agenda on behalf of Balfour Beatty for The Crown Estate’s prestigious St James’s Market redevelopment. Rosa has been successful in securing the BREEAM Excellent design certification for both the buildings in the development and is working hard to deliver the construction assessment, whilst also monitoring the construction carbon footprint and broader environmental agenda. The buildings should be handed over early in the New Year at which point Rosa will join Abby over on the Queen Olympic Elizabeth Park.




And finally, Kirsten. Kirsten has spent a good portion of the year working with the Energy and Infrastructure team at The Crown Estate, challenging the current industry simplification of aggregate sourcing. The presentation of the final results at the Marine Aggregates Annual Review in December generated a lot of interest from the large aggregate suppliers. 


With KLH expertise in demand world-wide, Kirsten’s feet have barely touched the ground this year. The highlights of a follow-up visit to Rio2016 on behalf of UNEP to review the progress for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, included a visit to a fantastic project in the Rio favelas and a day rock climbing with a local guide who offered an honest insight into Brazilian life, education and frustrations. Kirsten also visited Dubai twice where KLH support Parsons in designing sustainable infrastructure for the Expo2020. 




A little closer to home, Kirsten has travelled from coast to coast. Positive student feedback from previous years resulted in repeat requests to lecture at Cambridge and Newcastle University, with a new slot at Teeside. In Bristol, the Stage 3 design has just concluded for Bristol Arena, and the search is on for a preferred contractor and in Nottingham the University of Nottingham Zero Carbon laboratory has reached a stage of construction, similar to that lost to fire last year.


These international and regional visits highlighted the various challenges facing different part of the world and the diverse governance and social structures at play, thereby reinforcing the KLH philosophy that sustainability is client and location specific. It is why we work hard to develop an individual approach crafted from a blank piece of paper once local objectives, needs and opportunities are understood.


This year was KLH Sustainability’s 5th year of challenging the way we design, procure and build. The team surprised Kirsten with a generous gift. Individual pieces of timber, salvaged from a bench removed during the Olympic Stadium transformation works were sent to clients and collaborators for signing, before being transformed into a unique sculpture. If you have yet to contribute to the growth of the sculpture, please do let us know and we will send you your very own piece of wood for signing!




Now, rather than counting down the days to Christmas, we are counting down the days to Chloe and Samantha’s return!


Merry Christmas from Kirsten, Abby, Kristina and Rosa.

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