Case Study - Holbein Gardens

Image credit: Grosvenor

Project summary

Holbein Gardens will be one of London’s most sustainable office developments, proving the huge potential for transforming outdated office stock into exemplary workspaces, with the project on track to meet the LETI Pioneer Project embodied carbon target of 500kgCO2/m2 or less.

Reuse summary

The ambitious embodied carbon target will in part be met through Holbein Gardens pioneering material reuse, and is one the first projects in the UK to reuse structural steelwork salvaged directly from a demolition site. The building also utilises Cross Laminated Timber floor slabs supplied by Eurban, to enable a complete low embodied carbon solution.

Image credit: Grosvenor

Key facts/highlights

  • On track to achieve 300kg/COe/m²
  • Acting as a LETI Pioneer Project
  • Targeting BREEAM Outstanding & WELL Gold
  • CLT extensions to allow floorplates to be adapted in the future
  • 29% embodied carbon saving through retaining the brick façade
  • 34% of steel specified is reuse, accounting for a 60tCOe saving in upfront carbon
  • Reclaimed York stone pavers for ground floor entrances which have a 3.2tCO2e saving in upfront carbon
  • Reclaimed raised access flooring
  • Several design for deconstruction elements
  • 99.95% of strip out waste diverted from landfill and traded on the re-use marketplace Globechain
  • Timber removed from the building donated to St Albans wood recycling charity

Project information

Project name

Holbein Gardens


Sloane Square, London, UK

Project type 

Refurbishment and 1 storey extension



Gross internal area (post refurbishment)

2300 m²

Project stage

Nearing completion

Cost per sqm


Total project cost


ArchitectsBarr Gazetas
ContractorBlenheim House
Engineers and consultants

TFT (Sustainability Consultant)

HTS (Structural Engineer)

Leslie Clark (Cost Consultants)

Reuse highlights


Steel for extension frame


Reused steel

Donor project

A nearby demolition sites within Grosvenors portfolio: Biscuit Factory in Bermondsy and US former embassy. 15 tonnes were sourced on the open market.


Clients own/ Cleveland Steel and Tubes


9 tonnes from client site, 15 tonnes from Cleveland Steel and Tubes

Carbon saving

At least 67.5tCOe

Key considerations

The reused steel was more expensive due to the cost of extraction from the old site and the transportation for testing before they could be reused.

The steelwork is designed with mechanical fixings so it can be deconstructed at end of life.


Ground floor entrance paving


Reused York stone

Carbon saving


Webinar recording: Sustainable Supply Chains - Holbein Gardens

  • Discover how the use of reused steel enabled significant carbon savings
  • Learn about the successes and lessons learned from the project team
  • Find out how designing for disassembly and local donation of surplus materials has enabled the project to become a leading example of sustainability
  • Uncover how this exemplar case study ties in with ASBP’s new Reuse Now Campaign

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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