World’s first ‘zero carbon’ skyscraper planned for Birmingham

Artist’s impression of the Curzon Wharf development (Image: Woodbourne Group)

A developer has unveiled plans to build a zero carbon development featuring a 172m-tall skyscraper in Birmingham.

The 993,046ft2 Curzon Wharf scheme, proposed by developer Woodbourne Group, would see the construction of new residential, retail, office, and research and development and life sciences facilities on a site currently occupied by 1960s industrial units.

The 53-storey skyscraper would contain build-to-rent accommodation and would be Birmingham’s tallest building. A student accommodation block would stand 41 storeys tall and a ‘co-living’ block 14 storeys tall.

It will also include nearly 130,000ft2 of office, R&D and life science space, over 3,000ft2 of retail space, over 15,000ft2 of leisure space, over 76,424ft2 of new and improved public realm and 490m of new and improved walking and cycling routes.

The development would be within eight minutes’ walking distance of the new HS2 Curzon Street station.

The plans have been designed after five years of consultation with Birmingham City Council and a team of regeneration and built-environment specialists, according to Woodbourne Group.

Woodbourne Group chief executive Tani Dulay said Curzon Wharf will reinvent this 1960s site into a “newly reinvigorated, dynamic, world-class and sustainable mixed-use ecosystem”.

He said: “Curzon Wharf isn’t just a development, it’s a manifesto that will position Birmingham as UK’s leading smart and sustainable city, helping to pave the way for the UK’s Green Revolution. It reinforces Birmingham position as the UK’s second city.

“It will act as a catalyst for the wider transformation of the Eastside area, where a number of masterplans have been earmarked which otherwise would not be possible. It signposts Birmingham’s route to delivering transformational change to the city.

“It will promote social, cultural and economic exchange in a truly transformative urban neighbourhood.”

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “This is an incredibly exciting plan, with the potential to create more than 1,000 jobs at what will be a critical time for our region’s economy as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is brilliant to see how innovative the masterplan is, not only through being net-zero and contributing towards our #WM2041 goal, but also with the life sciences element which will help create a number of high-skilled, well-paid jobs in a key industry of the future, building on the recent investment at the life sciences site in Selly Oak.

“I will support Tani and his team at Woodbourne Group as best I can as Mayor to get this scheme moving.”

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said: “This exciting project will put Birmingham right at the forefront of green, sustainable development and underlines our determination to tackle the climate crisis, while also creating jobs and opportunities for people across the city.

“We’ve shown with the recent launch of Our Future City Plan consultation that Birmingham has the ambition and vision to become a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive city and Curzon Wharf shows our determination to turn vision into reality.

“We want to work with the people and communities of Birmingham as we re-imagine and reshape our city, so I would urge as many people as possible to have their say in this consultation.”

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