Case Study - 22 Baker Street

Image credit: Marks Barfield Architects

With thanks to Marks Barfield Architects (MBA) for providing the content for this case study

Reuse

The main ambition of Marks Barfield Architects is to move from a linear to a circular economy, mining the Anthropocene and identifying as many reuse opportunities as possible to reduce both upfront and life cycle embodied carbon, waste in the built environment and respect planetary boundaries. 

Project summary

MBA’s innovative approach shifted to a circular economy by adopting the donor-recipient building model at 22 Baker Street. Emphasizing retrofit and reuse, three main avenues were explored: reusing materials in situ, relocating within the building, or donating to a nearby charity/recipient project. The aim was to prevent downcycling and promote upcycling wherever feasible. Extensive site investigations and audits at 22 Baker Street facilitated the creation of a material inventory and development of existing material passports. 

Initial challenges involved storage limitations and certification issues affecting costs and time, particularly with sensitive items like internal fire doors. However, collaboration across industries ensured project success, partnering with a deconstruction contractor and experts. These collaborations have led to further successes in knowledge sharing and action to push for a circular built environment, particularly Lawmens, the deconstruction contractor, with whom MBA are currently working on several exciting initiatives. This includes a deconstruction pocketbook for reused material specification and on-site feasibility evaluation for reuse.

Image credit: Marks Barfield Architects
Image credit: Marks Barfield Architects

Key facts/highlights

  • Over 135,000 kg COe saved through reuse
  • Appriximaely £350,000 saved through reuse
  • Reuse of internal fire doors including being re-certified
  • Large carbon savings through reuse of rasied access flooring
  • Deconstructed materials were stored a Lazari premises
  • Deconstructed materials not reused in the projects were used for other projects, like the Oasis Nature Building
  • Collaboration with demolition contractor to ensure the success of reuse 
  •  Creation of a deconstruction pocketbook in progress
  • 20% additional time spent upfront on systematizing reuse in RIBA Stages 1-3, which had significant financial benefits later on and time saved on stages 4-5
  • Additonal benefit of material cost and lead time certainty for reuse elements for future projects

Project information

Project name

22 Baker Street

Location

London, UK

Project type 

CAT A fit out

Sector

Offices

Gross internal area (post refurbishment)

2372 m² GIA

Project stage

Completed (Dec 23)

Cost per sqm

Approx £5000

Total project cost

£12 million

ClientLazari Investments Ltd
ArchitectsMarks Barfield
ContractorFaithdean
Engineers and consultants

Structural Engineer: The Morton Partnership. MEP Engineer: GLP

Demolition contractor

Lawmens

Project manager

Hambury Hird Design

Quantity surveyor

Album Consulting

Lessons learned

  • Reuse in-situ and in materials existing form is usually better.
  • Spend more time upfront in the early design stages, getting experts and relevant parties involved earlier including a de-construction contractor to find a clear path for reuse.
  • Clearly plan out risks and make the client and team aware of these, put in place a plan to mitigate these and get as much surveying and auditing done at early stages.
  • Certifications and warranty life of some materials make them difficult to reuse in situ. Consult relevant experts such as fire consultants at the earliest stage or the original suppliers/ manufacturers for a take back scheme.
  • Key practicalities are storage, logistics and standardisation of reuse inventory and system to be able to log and redistribute materials.
  • Ensure good records of manufacture, supplier and certification are kept through material passports. Particularly with respect to sensitive materials such as fire rated items.
  • Currently good reuse Hosts are usually small community/ charity projects, but the aim is to make urban mining mainstream in all sectors.
  • Reuse items will need a demand – otherwise will sit in a warehouse gathering dust. Architects have an agency here to be innovative in their designs for reuse.
  • Designing for deconstruction is paramount – ensure you build in layers and anything you build into the space can be easily removed from the floorplate (Floor to ceiling goods lifts useful in new projects, or design in standard, sensibly sized components).

Reuse highlights

Material/productInternal fire doors
Donor projectReused from this project. Originally installed 2002-2020. Floors BA, LGF, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04
Amounts75 doors (mostly fire)
Carbon saving3900 kg CO₂e
£ saving£199,500
Product informationTimber MDF doors with paint finish. Some with glass vision panels. Range of handles and kickplates. Mostly Stainless steel.
Key considerations
  • Due to to stringent regulations at present, fire doors must be reused in situ, in the exact condition under which they received their original certification.
  •  As some of the existing doors had been damaged, were misaligned, the fire seals were broken or the ironmongery was missing – MBA had to undergo several detailed surveys of each door set, highlighting their condition, key measurements and repair needed to ensure they were compliant.
  • An external fire assessment consultant was brought on board to independently assess the viability of reusing these doors before a BM Trada sub consultant undertook the repairs.
Lessons learned
  • The fire doors should be analysed at the earliest stage when doing a conditions survey of the doors in general (stage 2). This is to capture the extent of works needed to each door and limit abortive time spent on doors which cannot be reused from the outset.
  • Contact experts sooner to understand what they need when it comes to tendering the work. They can provide the BM Trada accepted repairs, so you know what to look out for when surveying the doors.
  • Building Control re-certified the doors for reuse.

Material/product

Glazed balustrade

Donor project

Reused from this project. Originally installed 2002-2020. Floor 02

Amounts

38m2

Carbon saving

3855 kg CO₂e

Product description

Glazed balustrade with round metal handrail capping at top. Manifestation detail on glass.

Key considerations

Balustrade had to be altered to suit new designs for prospective tenant, with the metal handrail trimmed to remove mitred end. Carefully removed existing handrail up to first joint past column and replace with longer piece salvaged from length of balustrade being removed, cut to size with stop end in matching finish. Difficult to disassemble for reuse.

Lessons learned

Large sections of glass are more difficult for reuse and permanent manifestations mean new tenants were reluctant to reuse the balustrades. When installing new materials ensure we design in manageable sections with deconstructable/ removable finishes for flexible reuse in future.

Material/product

Wood veneered bulkhead

Donor project

Reused from this project. Originally installed 2002. Floor 01

Amounts 

29.8 m2

Carbon saving

98 kg CO₂e

£ saving

£1899

Product description

Pre veneered oak MDF – laquered/stained with MDF back board – white semi matt.

Key considerations

Refurbished acoustic timber slat panel constructed of softwood frame with MDF backing panel. 25mm mineral wool acoustic insulation added to suit acoustic requirements within frame and acoustic felt covering over the top.

Lessons learned

Exposed fixings made slats easy to disassemble and reuse, while adding acoustic material behind as per acoustician specification.

Material/product

External doors (metal and timber)

Donor project

Reused from this project. Originally installed 2002. Floors 00, BA, LGF, 05

Amounts

8 doors

Carbon saving

917 kg CO₂e

Product description

Limited information on previous manufacturers suppliers. Doors as follows:

  1. Timber door, brass doorknob and ironmongery as existing. New automatic door opener, lock and access panel. In existing condition, glazed arched window detail above door.
  2. Timber single door, painted. Crashbar latch lock and existing ironmongery retained.
  3. Timber door with glazed panels, painted.
  4. Timber door, brass doorknob and ironmongery as existing. Glazed panels. Upgraded new ironmongery in 2023 refurbishment. Repainted
  5. Timber single doors on roof, painted. Lever handle (existing retained).
  6. Metal door, dead lock, thumb turn.
Key considerations
  • (Generally) Draught sealing.
  • Re-hanging and overhauling the door leaf.
  • Frame repairs.
  • Sill replacement.
  • External cheek repair/splicing.
  • Upgrade of existing hardware, if required, to suit new access control.
  • (Door 3) Previous crashbar latch lock removed and replaced with new lock. A Pair of Trapex FT pole handles, 650mm, brushed brass externally. Existing pull handles from 22 Baker Street to be reused if possible otherwise use Pair of Trapex FT pole handles,
Lessons learned

Timber/ metal doors generally suitable for reuse/ upcycle, precious metals from ironmongery should be reused in form before exploring other reuse options such as melting down and reforming.

Material/product

MDF wall cladding

Donor project

Reused from this project. Originally installed 2002. Floors LFD, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04

Amounts

208 m2

Carbon saving

2145.5 kg CO₂e

Product description

MDF cladding panels mechanically fixed to timber framing behind. Painted RAL 3001 generally. Base of cladding has alumnium skirting detail consisting of 3 bars of aluminium routed into MDF board.

Key considerations

Generally in quite bad condition before repairs in 2023, with broken aluminium, chips and scratches on the mdf panels. These have been repaired and the skirting refixed and made good. The panels inside the cores were removed and refitted to allow for new timber doors to the WCs.

Lessons learned

Generally simple to deconstruct due to mechanical fixings. Aluminium skirting means they are difficult to reform/ cut down in size if so needed.

Material/product

Existing steel beams and intumescent paint

Donor project

Reused from this project. Originally installed 2002. Floors LFD, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04

Carbon saving

269.1 kg CO₂e per unit

£ saving

unknown

Product description

Existing castellated steel I beams with intumescent paint finish.

All steel beams are fire protected with intumescent coating Firetex M78 of unknown dry film thickness.

Key considerations

Existing intumescent paint coating generally in good condition except for some small zones where local scratching and damage is found to beam flanges.

Existing intumescent coating retained and all local damages and defects to fire protection coating made good and repaired by a compatible fire protection system.

Lessons learned

Ensure good records of fire rated products are kept (product details, manufacturer/ supplier) to refurbish with compatible products and assess the existing viability.

Material/product

Feature stair structure

Donor project

Reused from this project. Originally installed 2002. Floors 00-01

Amounts (e.g. tonnes, targeted and actual)

1588.75 kg

Carbon saving

2018 kg CO₂e

£ saving

Unknown (Refurbishment cost circa £101,415.50)

Supplier

Ultimet Group (refurbishment company)

Product description

Curved steel staircase for one office sized floor with glass treads, painted steel stringers and glass balustrade. Only the steel stringers and structure was reused in situ and recladded. The treads and balustrade were recycled.

Key considerations

Alteration of existing curved stair consisting of glass open treads and glass balustrade slotted into clamping channel formed in the steel stringers modified to receive new wooden treads and metal guarding formed of steel hollow tube balusters. Carefully removed existing glass balustrade, metal handrail and glass treads without damaging the stringers and stair structural elements. Prepared existing steel stringers to receive new paint finish, new wood treads and metal

guarding formed of steel hollow tube balusters.

Lessons learned

Generally ease of disassembly due to bolt fixings between stringers and treads.

Material/product

Raised access floors

Donor project

Reused from this project. Originally installed 2002. Floors LFD, 01, 02, 03, 04

Amounts

4,872 m2

Carbon saving

121,634 kg CO₂e

£ saving

£146,160

Supplier

RMF (refurbishment company)

Product description

Chipboard core encased in steel; acoustic pads provided where necessary. Reused steel tiles from original building, new second-hand pedestals from new manufacturer.

Key considerations

Deconstructed onsite, taken offsite to be cleaned, refurbished, retested, and recertified by RMF before reinstating.

Lessons learned

Ensure height adjustment bolts are not glued on pedestals to increase reusability.

ASBP's Reuse Now Campaign

This case study is part of ASBP’s Reuse Now Campaign. The campaign builds upon the ASBP-led DISRUPT project, which is exploring the innovative reuse of structural steel in construction through the creation and adoption of new circular business models. Project partners and supporters include reuse stalwarts Cleveland Steel & Tubes, global construction specialist ISG, National Federation of Demolition Contractors, and Grosvenor, the world’s largest privately-owned international property business.

ASBP has been working on the topic of material reuse for nearly 10 years, with past activities including the Re-Fab House feasibility study, research with University of Cambridge identifying the barriers to structural steel reuse, and more recently, a sold-out Reuse Summit.

This previous experience is further enhanced with in-house expertise from Technical Director Dr. Katherine Adams and Research Associate Dr. Asselya Katenbayeva, who bring 25+ years of academic and industry-focussed research and development on the topics of waste, reuse and circular economy.

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