Liverpool sets out plan for city’s first net zero carbon building

The first steps to deliver Liverpool’s first operational net zero carbon building will be taken next week.

A report to Liverpool City Council’s cabinet is recommending the council enter into an agreement with Sciontec Developments Limited (Sciontec) that will pave the way for the next landmark building on Paddington Village, in the heart of the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) Innovation District.

To be called HEMISPHERE, the proposed £35m building will feature 116,000 square feet of innovative Grade A office space for health, education, science and tech occupiers.

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

The eco-friendly building will be delivered by Sciontec, the KQ Liverpool spin-out development company, which is seeking to establish similar design credentials as The Spine. It will aim to achieve an excellent rating for BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). Just 10% of buildings in the UK have this rating.

HEMISPHERE, along with other key developments such as Festival Gardens, The Depot studios and Littlewoods Film Studios, also forms part of Liverpool’s 10 post-pandemic pledges to stimulate economic growth. 

The scheme also underpins Liverpool’s City Plan, which is a commitment from key public, private and voluntary sector partners to tackle inequalities to give everyone a better quality of life – regardless of background, identity or postcode.

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.

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 HEMISPHERE’S construction would begin later that year and be completed in late 2024.

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. Its core mission is to build on Liverpool’s world leading strengths in education, medicine, science and technology by developing the best workspace and laboratories in the country and by bringing together and expanding Liverpool’s existing knowledge assets including Liverpool Science Park.

The investment in HEMISPHERE follows the initial £1m investment made in Liverpool Science Park by Sciontec in mid-2021. Sciontec has further expansion plans in 2022 with another project to create further science and technology workspace in KQ Liverpool to be announced in early-2022.

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.

“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.”

Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive of Sciontec, said:

“HEMISPHERE will further build on the success of The Spine and the other recent developments at Paddington Village to create a world class destination for health, education, science and technology.

“This will not only help deliver highly skilled jobs for people within the KQ Liverpool Innovation District but for people all across the Liverpool City Region.”