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Bridging the sustainability gap with Chapter Student Living

We’re proud to announce that Sweco’s project at London Bridge, a new student accommodation near the London Shard, has started its construction phase.

Image: Mozses for Kohn Pedersen Fox

Working alongside lead architects Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), in addition to structural engineers AKTII and main contractor Mace, Sweco led on key aspects of the buildings systems and services, from overall sustainability, to fire strategy and engineering services including MEP, vertical transportation and IT/security.


Chapter London Bridge will be a 39-storey tower mixed-used flagship Chapter Living development for Greystar with a height of 138m. It will deliver 905 student bedrooms with a mix of studios, 2-bed and 3-bed apartments. A food and beverage commercial unit and flexible event spaces will be provided on the ground floor. Cycle parking, co-working lounges, meeting rooms, laundry, private kitchenette, study spaces, a gym, a screening room and a rooftop bar are all part of the myriad of amenity areas accessible to the students. Best practice environmental performance standards are incorporated which contribute to an economic and socially sustainable community.

Image: Mozses for Kohn Pedersen Fox

Our role

Sweco was appointed to deliver a full range of building environmental and engineering services. We have since been working closely with the design team and developed appropriate strategies to meet the client’s objectives.

Sustainability first

Sweco developed a total electric site energy strategy which combines energy efficiency measures and renewable energy systems to substantially reduce carbon emissions.

The strategy includes on-site heat pumps which are capable to produce hot water and chilled water, solar PV panels on the roof and electrical panel for heating. This maximises the efficiencies due to the mixed-use load profiles between the apartments and amenity areas. The building design will therefore achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

Image: Mozses for Kohn Pedersen Fox

‘Be Seen’ strategy

Alongside a low energy strategy that places sustainability at the forefront of design, it is key for the building to keep energy use to a minimum for its operational life. At Chapter London Bridge Sweco designed to a granular level to ensure that every room has six points of metering – small power, lighting, heating, cooling, hot water and cold water. Every student can see how much energy and water they are using and take steps themselves to lower their carbon footprint. This also feeds into a long-term operational strategy by the building owner to facilitate further incentives for individuals to reduce energy usage.

Servicing strategy

Providing high-density accommodation on a restricted site meant that available space was at a premium. Building servicing strategies were developed that minimised plant space taken by rationalising and consolidating systems and also looking at pre-fabricated strategies. The energy centre is located at roof level and serving the building downwards. Benefits also included optimal space and energy use, together with capital cost savings by reducing the basement depth.

Façade performance

High performance building façades are an integral part of the building design. Sweco performance advice ensured façades met the architectural aspirations, yet are fully- functional climate modifiers, and meet the latest fire regulations.

Image: Atchain for  Kohn Pedersen Fox

Lifting strategy

Sweco produced an optimised lifting strategy for a student accommodation profile based on an existing asset’s data. This enabled to determine the appropriate number of lifts and meet vertical transportation performance targets. Early adoption of a passenger/evacuation lift is provided on top of a dedicated firefighting lift.

Fire strategy

Sweco worked closely with the design team to develop an integrated fire strategy that allowed a robust and enhanced fire performance for the client. This was also worked closely with Building Control and London Fire Bridge.

Engineering services

  • M&E and Public Health Services
  • Environmental Systems
  • Vertical Transportation
  • Fire Strategy and Systems
  • IT and Security Services

Facts & figures

  1. Heating/DHW capacity: 1490 kW
  2. Cooling capacity: 700 kW
  3. Electrical capacity: 2,400 kVA
  4. Lifts: 6