Ben Cross General Projects landscape

PlaceTech's event will be a more practical workshop-style session than usual conferences


General Projects to speak at ESG: The Retrofit Playbook event in February

Ben Cross, development director at General Projects, will set out how to achieve outstanding sustainability performance in reused buildings at this practical workshop-style event in the new year.

PlaceTech’s ESG Retrofit Playbook event is aimed at asset managers, developers and advisers who are tired of the typical worthy panel debates at conferences and are seeking practical advice on how to meet carbon targets in existing buildings.

Hear from experienced developers actually doing exemplary retrofit work and not just talking about it.

Ben Cross will share his experiences in a workshop-style session on the role of planning policy around sustainability, navigating viability and funding formulas, and accreditation criteria.

General Projects’ major schemes include Metropolis, a new workspace campus at the former Woolworths HQ on Marylebone Road in London, which is on site. This is designed to achieve BREEAM outstanding, one of only a handful of reused buildings with that badge.

Cross said: “Accreditations like these are attractive to investors and occupiers but the assessments haven’t been set up in a way to assess existing buildings. The embodied carbon within the retained building isn’t considered, making it arguably easier to achieve BREEAM accreditation on a new build than a refurbishment. So, to achieve these standards on existing buildings comes down to money – essentially you need enlightened investors who are willing to take on the risk in the hope of reaping the rewards of a quality product.”

General Projects’ other ongoing commercial examples of retrofit – having pledged to never demolish a building – include Technique, a recently completed former gin distillery in Clerkenwell, the Sierra Quebec Bravo building in Canary Wharf, the Heal’s building and Walworth Town Hall, which is being repurposed as community workspace.

Other speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

ESG Retoroifit Playbook is sponsored by Social, PR for tech, and leading law firm Mills & Reeve. The event is a half-day morning workshop-style partical seminar designed to give you actionable takeaways for your own projects. The event is due to be held on 23 February 2023 in London.

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