Transforming Swansea City Centre

A mixed-use redevelopment is set to transform Swansea city centre to include significant retail provision and also a cinema, hotel, arena, student accommodation and new University facilities.

A site of this complexity brings with it significant challenges in delivering a sustainable scheme that is not only environmentally sensitive but also that maximises opportunities to benefit the local and wider community.

Greengage are working with Rivington Land to develop the sustainability strategy for the planning application that includes a sustainability statement and comprehensive BREEAM strategy for the commercial buildings on site.

Without the specific quantitative targets found in the planning policy of other regions, such as the London Plan or the sustainability policies of some local authorities there is potential for greater flexibility in the direction of the sustainability approach.

To ensure that Swansea City Council are satisfied with the integration of sustainability into the scheme Greengage have undertaken regular consultation with them.

The policy framework that has been developed and the broad approaches toward demonstrating compliance have therefore been agreed in advance and assist in ensuring there is a smooth transition through the planning process with regard to the sustainability approach.

As well as considering the environmental impact of the scheme, a key factor of the sustainability strategy is the focus on developing a sustainable community for future generations and maximising the effective use of the spaces between the buildings.

This BBC article of January 2016 gives a flavour of the nature and scale of the scheme which has now developed into the form shown in the plan.

Incorporation of green infrastructure throughout the scheme with vibrant, connected and accessible pedestrianised zones are a key theme of the sustainability strategy ensuring that the wellbeing of people are kept its heart.

In addition, the proposals aim to bring significant economic benefit to the region in both the construction and long term operation of the development.

The BREEAM assessment on the site presents a number of challenges primarily due to the diversity of commercial spaces including multi-let retail units, cinema, university facilities and arena complex.

With the exception of the arena building that will undergo a full fit out, all other commercial space is being assessed on a shell and core basis.

While issues such as flood risk and ecological value will be considered on a site wide basis it is important to consider at an early stage the subtle differences between the building assessments and the implications of these requirements at an early stage of the design process.

Greengage are working closely with the design team to ensure that the development is future-proofed with regard to achieving the required BREEAM rating across the site.