To realize a vision of decentralized energy generation, the Greenwich Peninsula Low Carbon Energy Centre houses advanced boilers and CHP that provide heat as part of the area’s Sustainability Strategy. It is the largest new build residential heat network in Europe, saving over 20,000t of carbon per year.
The cladding of the 49m high tower unites sophisticated engineering and complex optic research to create an impressive sculptural concept. The structure is 20m wide and 3m deep and is constructed from five interconnected steel ladder frames that are clad with perforated aluminum panels, each the size of a London bus. These triangular panels fold across the surface of the tower, forming intricate geometric patterns.
Steel was an obvious design choice as it enabled the creation of a strong, but slim, and highly perforated structure. In addition to its structural properties, the industrial aesthetic of steel lent itself to the historical context of Greenwich Peninsula. Further benefits include the ability to accurately fabricate the frame in sections off-site followed by a quick installation on-site.
Due to the nature of the flue tower’s perforated cladding, the steelwork is exposed to the elements – so all of the steelwork has been galvanized to guarantee a rust-resistant finish and avoid maintenance.