£35 million proposal for Liverpool’s first net zero carbon building

The building will be constructed in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.

<p>Image of what the new zero carbon building could look like. Credit: Liverpool City Council </p>

Image of what the new zero carbon building could look like. Credit: Liverpool City Council

The cabinet of Liverpool City Council is due to consider plans for the city’s first ‘operational net zero carbon building’ next week.

The proposed £35 million building will feature 116,000 square feet of ‘innovative’ office space for health, education, science and tech occupiers.

The eco-friendly building is set to be situated next to The Spine, on Paddington Village, in the heart of the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool Innovation District.

A report to Liverpool City Council’s cabinet is recommending the council enter into an agreement with development company Sciontec Developments Limited.

What is Sciontec?

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Sciontec was established by Liverpool City Council, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, with Bruntwood SciTech joining as a fourth equal partner in May 2020.

The city aims to build on Liverpool’s world leading strengths in education, medicine, science and technology by developing the best workspace and laboratories in the country.

The scheme, which will be subject to an independent valuation of the plot of land before a 150-year lease is granted to Sciontec, is seen as critical to the city’s recovery by encouraging job creation in the health, science, research and education sectors.  

What will the new building be called and why is it being developed?

The building is to be called Hemisphere and is part of Liverpool’s ten post-pandemic pledges to stimulate economic growth which include the city’s film studios and development of the Festival Gardens.

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It is estimated Hemisphere will create up to 800 new jobs in the knowledge sector and support up to 100 apprenticeships during its construction phase.

Depending on cabinet approval, the next step after the agreement is entered into, would be for a planning application to be submitted in mid-2022 with an expectation that construction would begin later that year and be completed in late 2024.

The building will be next to The Spine which, since opening in May this year, has won design and construction awards, and is now internationally recognised as one of the healthiest buildings in the world.

Hemisphere will aim to achieve an excellent rating for the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. Just 10% of buildings in the UK have this rating.

Reaction to the Hemisphere project

Councillor Sarah Doyle, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool and Cabinet Member for Development and Economy, said: “For Liverpool’s post-pandemic economic recovery to succeed, we need to deliver high quality schemes that generate skilled jobs that are rooted in industries that reflect the needs of the 21st century.

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“I’m delighted with the vision and ambition behind HEMISPHERE to be Liverpool’s first net zero carbon building. It would be a great addition to Paddington Village and would also provide Liverpool with much needed Grade A office space, giving people fantastic conditions to work in.

“There are a few steps to take before HEMISPHERE becomes a reality but its potential impact on our knowledge economy is exciting. It would also highlight how serious the city is in tackling climate change as well as attracting the brightest minds to develop cutting edge medical research.”