Argent

People who make places for people

In our role as a developer, we have the opportunity to make a positive, even life-changing impact on people and communities, and a responsibility to manage our impact on the environment.

In our view, too much of the debate about sustainability and the built environment is concerned with standards and the performance of individual buildings. Consideration of environmental performance is undertaken as a matter of course in our industry today thanks to regulations and industry benchmarks such as BREEAM.

We believe that the far greater challenge lies in looking beyond buildings, to how places perform as a whole – and to consideration of individual and collective behaviours.

With developments the scale of King’s Cross, we can look more widely – at infrastructure, at systems and modes of movement, at our consumption patterns and how we can influence and modify them. This is our opportunity and our responsibility.

Some of these principles in practice include:

What was once a vast forest of cranes and concrete has, by some mysterious urban pupation, recently turned into one of London's most lovely piazzas.

Amol Rajan Independent on Sunday
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  • Andrew Wood of Natural England speaking at the aunch of a Green Charter for King's Cross by the King's Cross Business Partnership at the German Gym 8.5.13
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  • Launch of a Green Charter for King's Cross by the King's Cross Business Partnership
    Launch of a Green Charter for King's Cross by the King's Cross Business Partnership

Business Partnerships

In Manchester, Birmingham and at King’s Cross, we have been instrumental in setting up local business partnerships. The partnerships typically bring together key landowners, businesses, public sector agencies and transport providers. Their goal is to maximise the potential of the area, improve the environment and to ensure that the wider area benefits from the investment being made through redevelopment.

The Broad Street Business Improvement District (BID) in Birmingham delivered an extra £1.5 million of investment in Broad Street amenities over five years. Foundations for a similar legacy are now being laid at King’s Cross with the King’s Cross & St. Pancras Business Partnership. In Manchester, the Piccadilly Partnership has been steering the ongoing regeneration of the area since 2003. Ten years on, the Partnership is 50 members strong.

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  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine in The Energy Centre, King's Cross
    Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine in The Energy Centre, King's Cross
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  • Infrastructure - emerging from the new bridge across the Regent's Canal, King's Cross
    Infrastructure emerging from the new bridge across the Regent's Canal, King's Cross
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  • Solar panels and green roof on Five Pancras square, King's Cross
    Solar panels and green roof on Five Pancras square, King's Cross

Carbon Efficient Energy

The focus for energy efficiency at King’s Cross is a district-wide energy system. An on-site Energy Centre provides power and generates heat via Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines.

Each new building connects to the Energy Centre through the district heating network. This is a very efficient way to heat the buildings and it means that there will be no need for conventional boilers in the buildings themselves.

In time, the Centre will provide close to 100% of the development’s heat and hot water needs and 80% of its electricity.

The district-wide energy system at King’s Cross is one of the largest of its kind in the UK. We are exploring the installation of a similar network at the St Peter’s Square redevelopment in Central Manchester.

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  • King's Cross Academy
    King's Cross Academy
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  • King's Cross Visitor Centre, Stable Street, King's Cross
    King's Cross Visitor Centre, Stable Street, King's Cross
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  • SKIP GARDEN FAMILY SATURDAYS at King's Cross
    Skip Garden, King's Cross

Communities

King’s Cross is one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK. It is a new part of London and a community for future generations. We work hard to ensure that the wider community benefits from the investment going on here.

There is a strong emphasis on education at King’s Cross. As well as three higher education facilities, the development will be home to an academy primary school, a nursery and the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children.

The Global Generation Skip Garden is a community project which provides all kinds of opportunities for local young people. Through the medium of sustainability, young people have developed new skills and networks, learned about construction, how to grow food, as well as how to market and sell their produce. The project brings together people of all ages and backgrounds and has engaged with over 2,000 young people since opening in 2009.

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  • The Skip Garden, Kings Cross
    The Skip Garden, Kings Cross
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  • Mayor of London, Boris Johnson visits Construction Skills Centre, King's Cross
    Mayor of London, Boris Johnson visits Construction Skills Centre, King's Cross

Training

The development at King’s Cross is one of the largest construction projects in London. The Construction Skills Centre helps local people to access the jobs and opportunities created by our development. Over £2 million was invested in creating the Centre, and all King’s Cross construction partners signed up to a scheme which provides work placements, apprenticeships and new employment opportunities. To date, over 300 local young people have gained qualifications through the Centre.