Do you know that £9 billion are being invested in Battersea Power Station? The plan will lead to the rebirth of the global landmark and the iconic upscale neighbourhood on the south bank of River Thames? Besides having historical importance in terms of cultural legacy and development supremacy, Battersea Power Station is the heart of the massive regeneration zone of Nine Elms. It is the most significant part of the revamp of the Nine Elms, Battersea and Vauxhall area that is worth around £15 billion and expected to completely transform South West London.
As we know that Battersea Power Station is undergoing massive transformation but the developers are adamant to retain its unique historical features but the mixed-use development will be given a new purpose suitable to this era. You must be aware of the scale and value of this gigantic project, where the numbers are staggering and the development level is astounding. Let’s take a look at some of the hidden facts that truly depict the story of this world-renowned Grade II listed building.
Not just like any other construction project…
According to an estimate, six million bricks were used in the construction of the original Battersea Power Station building. Attention to detail is critically important for the successful restoration of the historical landmark project. Therefore, the two firms that made the bricks to build Battersea Power Station in the last century are tasked with hand-making 1.75 million more bricks in order to match the original ones. Currently, seven different types of bricks are being used throughout the development. Only 800 to 1000 bricks are being provided by the brick-maker, due to the specialized requirement.
One of the specialized engineering bricks used in the Power Station wash towers is known for its acid-resisting properties and it was the same brick that was used in the foundations of the Empire State Building.
Redeveloping and preserving
The developers have been working closely with Heritage England to bring this iconic Grade II building back to life, refurbishing the site and reusing the materials wherever possible. The development has been done utilizing the older construction techniques and adjusting them according to the 21st century such as the sand and ice-blasting method. Besides that, a number of innovative measures are being taken on-site to reduce carbon footprints and to make the most of available resources, in a controlled environment.
The peregrine falcons
Battersea Power Station was decommissioned in 1983 and since then, the building stood derelict until the new redevelopment plan was approved. Renowned for its four chimneys, the development was home to two peregrine falcons – the fastest flying animals on earth. The developers have shifted the peregrines’ original nesting site from one of the old wash towers of Battersea Power Station to a new purpose-built tower in close proximity to the project. It was costly relocation but it proved to be successful as after the move, the peregrines have successfully raised a number of chicks.
Clean sky initiative
Battersea Power Station is a gigantic project that is equally complex to refurbish and involves a lot of development to transform this project from a power station to the place, where people can live, work and enjoy all modern facilities and amenities. This refurbishment includes the rebuilding of the four chimneys, the transformation of the actual Power Station, building a new energy centre, and six acres of public parks along with a number of new restaurants, cafes, boutiques and retail options.
The new energy centre is underground and it will provide heating and cooling for the entire Batter Power Station development area and the surplus energy will be used for the national grid. It will utilise two of the iconic chimneys to discharge into the sky but interestingly, this time it will not be smoke but pollution-free water vapours.
Reducing on-site emissions
The on-site sustainability team has been working with King’s College London, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, and other collaborators to find out innovative research on diesel and particulate emissions from the supply chain’s construction vehicles. The developers are seriously concerned about the environmental pollution and on-site emissions, thus taking sound measures to reduce the impact on the environment.
Creating employment opportunities
According to an estimate, around 20 cranes are there on the site, with 3,000 active workers and more than 25,000 people living and working across the site. The Battersea Power Station Development aims to provide 500,000 sq. ft. of new office space, which will be home to Apple’s London Headquarter and several other notable business options. Apple will be the largest office tenant, as its office will spread across six floors of the central Boiler House inside the historic Battersea Power Station.
Besides this, the development company is very much interested in creating on-site employment opportunities and has been doing so since the inception of the redevelopment plan. Moreover, the developers are working closely with Wandsworth Council in order to take unemployed people through a comprehensive skills and training programme, leading to jobs on the construction site.