18 May 2022

Networking | BCO NextGen Conference Drinks





As our Annual Conference in Manchester nears, the NextGen are excited to invite you to an evening of drinks and dancing at Manchester’s Freight Island on Tuesday 14 June from 8pm onwards.
Whilst the conference is now fully booked, all NextGen members – delegates or not – are invited to attend the NextGen ‘After party’, which will be a fantastic opportunity to meet and mingle with friends and colleagues.
We will provide a few drinks, food, and entertainment, just bring yourself and enjoy a taste of Manchester’s vibrant night life!
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to connect with your NextGen community,
get your tickets here and come celebrate this past year’s achievements with us.







13 May 2022

Circularity in practice – optimising the finite


Photo courtesy of Heyne Tillett Steel

Author: Oliver Hall, Make Architects

One of the most-quoted statistics on the impact of embodied carbon in the built environment is that 80 percent of the buildings we’ll need by 2050 already exist. This provides a clear rationale for the reuse and retrofit of existing buildings; however, as the redevelopment of city office buildings continues at a rapid pace, there are many examples where keeping existing buildings isn’t seen as a viable option – whether that’s for financial, structural or various other reasons. This conflict leads to fierce debate and friction between carbon and commercial aspirations and priorities.

The principles of circularity may provide a resolution to this debate. When viewed from a circular mindset, existing buildings have much to offer, and by designing adaptable, demountable structures, we have an opportunity to sustainably extend the lifespan of buildings and their materials.

To further understand and explore these opportunities, BCO Nextgen brought together a panel of industry experts working at the forefront of circularity. These included Rachel Hoolahan (Sustainability Coordinator at Orms), Steve Gilchrist (Project Director at Grosvenor), Andrea Charlson (Commercial Manager and Built Environment Lead at ReLondon), and Laura Batty (Structural Engineer and Associate at Heyne Tillett Steel).


Circular design at all scales

Rachel Hoolahan set the challenge at Orms to aim for at least one deep sustainability assignment on each project. This design-research mentality is leading to innovation that unlocks circular economy opportunities. During the panel discussions, she raised the challenges and questions brought to light during the redevelopment of 160 Old Street, a former Royal Mail sorting office.

The project achieved a 70 percent uplift in net internal area through a reconfiguration and extension, while retaining 76 percent of the existing structure, saving nearly 3,000 tons of COemissions. The key challenge, however, was ensuring the additional floorplates were flexible and of a high-quality, as expected in a new building. Although the retention and extension of the existing structure had the biggest carbon savings, it was in the selection, specification and design of new elements that needed the most challenging. Hoolahan gave the example of the ceramic sinks in the washrooms, which could be “easily uninstalled, disassembled and reused in the future, [while opening] up the opportunity to source reused sinks as the initial specification.”

While this is just one example of a ‘deep assignment’, by implementing this circular mindset both at a large and small scale, the materials and the building are ensured for long-term, flexible and sustainable use. 


Developers driving innovation

Grosvenor has been exploring circularity innovations across several projects, both in terms of practical applications and the long-term implications of them. They see materials reuse as an opportunity to balance their materials across a range of sites. But as project director Steve Gilchrist explained, circularity can be a wide-ranging topic, so you need to be focused to create any meaningful change.

He explained that during a recent project, in collaboration with Orms, Grosvenor paused the design to slow down and focus on the long-term impact of the building. Steve said, “We want [the design team] to learn about the building now, [and] think about how things could be done in the future,” before rushing into the design. This thinking, combined with Grosvenor’s ambition to explore the full process of implementing circularity, meant the design team could engage with detailed building surveys and thoroughly understand the materials within the building, and whether they could be reused. The team also worked with lawyers on warranties, to ensure these ideas could be implemented in a commercially sustainable way.

In demonstrating to supply chains that reusing materials from existing building stock can be viable, Grosvenor are paving the way for more detailed circular material models in future.


Creating a model for circularity

While the private sector is making tremendous progress, the public sector is critical to the successful adoption of circular economy strategies across the industry. ReLondon, a partnership between the Mayor of London and the London boroughs, is on a mission to revolutionise London’s relationship with products and waste. As Andrea Charlson put it, ReLondon are “helping London waste less, reuse, recycle, repair and share more.”

One of ReLondon’s focus areas is the inclusion of circularity in The London Plan. The policy around reducing waste and supporting a circular economy has four key elements; a requirement to collaborate, promote a more circular economy, produce innovation, and adhere to targets around waste diversion from landfill and reuse. However, the most significant element for most large developments is the requirement for referrable schemes to submit a circular economy statement as part of the planning process. Two of the most interesting components of embedding circularity in the planning process is the need for a pre-demolition audit – if the site’s being demolished or redevelopment – and the post-construction requirements that show how a building can be adapted and reused in future. Where this is implemented, it is expected that we’ll see a real-world reduction in the use of virgin materials across the whole life of a project, leading to a reduced carbon budget.

ReLondon is part of a consortium of 31 organisations across 4 cities (London, Copenhagen, Hamburg and the Helsinki region) who are working together on the Horizon 2020-funded ‘Circular Construction in Regenerative Cities’ (CIRCuIT) project. Through the project, they are aiming to reduce the yearly consumption of virgin raw materials by 20% in new construction, and show cost savings of 15% – something that can only be achieved through collaboration.  ReLondon are also trying to improve the quantity of data available, and the accessibility of existing data, while providing tools to access it – all of which will help ReLondon, and fellow organisations, achieve this collective goal of reducing waste and carbon.

By pushing for policy change in the public sector, ReLondon are steering the local industry, and indeed a global city, in the direction of circularity.


Engrained disassembly

While the opportunity and scalability of circularity offers the potential to revolutionise the construction industry and reduce our impact on finite resources, there are also easy wins that all projects can, and must, start actioning. Not every project will have a reusable structure, and not every project team has access to a materials bank, but through early design decisions, we can make new buildings easier to adapt, reuse and disassemble in the future.

Laura Batty runs the internal research and development department at Heyne Tillett Steel, where they’ve been exploring the principles of circular design and disassembly on various projects, including their new offices at 16 Chart Street. She says the opportunity to extend the lifespan of the things we use is important, and by creating structures that are “designed to be disassembled and reused at a higher possible value, [we are] eliminating waste and pollution, avoiding things being designed to be thrown away, and designing instead to facilitate reappropriation and recycling.” Designing structures that can be disassembled using bolted connections and exposed steelwork, for example, makes the process of disassembly more achievable when the building’s functional life is over.

By factoring the end of a building’s life into its design, we can redefine the life cycles of buildings and establish a framework for a circular industry.



It’s clear from the panellists that circularity cannot be achieved in isolation – it needs to be a collaborative process, between internal teams, developers and designers, and the public and private sectors. Circularity looks set to revolutionise the workplace life cycle and reduce the sector’s impact on the environment, but only if everyone involved is willing to move beyond the standard models of design, procurement and occupation, and shift towards closing the loop instead.  

We wish to thank our panellists for their unique, expert perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of circularity in practice. To listen to the full discussion, click the link here.


12 May 2022

Fully Booked | BCO Conference 2022





We are delighted to announce that the 2022 BCO Manchester Conference is now fully booked, with over 750 delegates set to attend. To add your name to the waiting list, please email registration@sasevents.co.uk; if we receive any cancellations, we will get in touch to offer you a place.

Booked a ticket? Make sure to choose your sessions or conference activities in advance by editing your booking here.

We look forward to seeing many of you in June, for what will be a truly unforgettable event.  








#Manchester2022 #BCOconference








9 May 2022

An introduction to the 2022 BCO NextGen Committee - South West and Wales

Follow the BCO NextGen Committee on LinkedIn:

Steph Calder BDP (Chair)
Sarah Mitchell Overbury (Vice chair)

Laura Beddis, Galliford Try
Rachel Holmes, MDA Consulting
Luke Martin, JLL
Monika Nowak, Hoare Lea
Matt Perring, Method Consulting LLP
Toni Riddiford, Stride Treglown

Learn more about the BCO NextGen here. 

27 Apr 2022

The future of the workplace is yours to design

Courtesy of Eilidh Tucker

There could be no better setting for the launch of the 2022 BCO NextGen Ideas Competition than the HYLO, a self-proclaimed ‘basecamp for brilliance.’

The evening of Thursday 31st March saw members of the BCO NextGen Committee gather for a long-awaited in-person networking event in one of London’s most exciting new buildings. Kicking off proceedings was Multiplex’s Andy Campbell, chair of the London and South East NextGen committee, who provided an overview of the evening, and directed attention to our fundraiser for Ukraine. Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the ongoing devastation in Ukraine, and it felt pertinent to use our event to contribute positively in some way. Donations can still be made here.

Stephen Cherry, Managing Director at HCL Architects, Steve Riddell, Partner at CIT Group, and Michael Hynd, Associate Director AKTII, provided an in-depth run through of building spec and hosted a brief Q&A on the HYLO development. A guided tour of the building followed, with NextGen members split into groups and led through the development with a related party on hand to answer any queries. Experiencing this excellent example of a future-focused workspace served as an ideal forerunner to the main event — the launch of the Ideas Project.

The tour was rounded off by drinks and nibbles on the top floor, readying the next generation of talent to foster their best ideas over an evening of networking. Emily Pallot, Director at Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, led a galvanising launch, pitching the central concept of the BCO Ideas Competition and calling on members to submit their entries for the future workspace. The 2022 competition looks for individual submissions, widening the gateposts and encouraging more creative freedom than ever before
the onus is on you to decide what the future should look like.
The deadline for entry is Friday 20th May 2022, and all details are available here.

Anyone can enter, provided that you are a member of the BCO NextGen. Consider how you could shape the modern workplace for the better, by incorporating one of the four focus categories in your design:

• Addressing the Climate Emergency

• Integrating New Technologies

• Designing the Human Experience

• Creating Diversity and Inclusion /Social Impact

The HYLO proved to be a hotbed of inspiration. Sunlight streamed through floor-to-ceiling windows in the early evening, casting light on animated conversations. There was much discussion of ‘best ideas’ and their origins, some more offbeat than others, as we found…

Heba Tabidi:

Where do you come up with your best ideas? — “At a rave! It makes you disconnect in a way, but there’s also such a big part of your brain that is occupied by the music. I always feel inspired afterwards”

What do you do if you’re stuck for an idea? — “Yoga. Or on a bigger scale, travel by myself. Both stimulate me”

John Hunter:

Where do you come up with your best ideas? — “Before I go to sleep. There are no distractions, it’s just me and the ebb and flow of my thoughts. ”

What do you do if you’re stuck for an idea? — “When I’m stuck for ideas I reach out and speak to people, that never fails to inspire me. Through the BCO I have met people who encourage you to think bigger, but in a neutral environment. It’s not competitive, but it encourages you to better yourself. At BCO events you interact as people, not just as professionals.”

If being an instrumental factor in the future of workspace wasn’t enough incentive, the BCO is also offering six finalists “a world-class opportunity to learn to articulate, refine and amplify your ideas” through incredible Ted-talk style public speaking training with Ginger Leadership Communications. You will then have the opportunity to flex your newfound skills, pitching your ideas publicly at the final Ideas Project Event, attended by key leaders across the industry and fellow BCO members later this year. Sarah, head of Ginger Communications, and her team will lead you through a series of workshops that will enable you to:
“take your seed of an idea and turn it into something transformational.”
Grab the chance to boost your profile in the industry and learn to sell yourself in a way that will stick.

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who helped in bringing this event to life, with special thanks to HYLO for hosting us, and of course to our sponsor of the evening, LA Construction.

The limits are what you make them, so you can dream big. Take it from James Pellatt, Director of Workplace and Innovation at Great Portland Estates and one of our 2022 judges: “Very few people get creative ideas in an office,” so what is your solution?

The future of the workplace is yours to design. Enter now for your chance to be the change you want to see.

22 Apr 2022

BCO Conference tickets are 90% SOLD. Have you booked?







We kick off the Conference with a drinks reception at Manchester Cathedral, a Grade I listed masterpiece in the heart of the Medieval Quarter. 

The next day, our Conference Party will be one to remember (or not!). Held at Hatch, one of Manchester’s newest, award-winning food, drink and retail destinations in the city centre. Guests will enjoy a welcome cocktail on arrival before sampling a variety of delicious street food. Explore the open air spaces and terraces, trayed drinks and four bars. A DJ and live local band provide some of the entertainment for the evening. Details:
Drinks Reception & Party


Starting with an introduction to Manchester, we will hear from Andy BurnhamMayor of Greater Manchester, and Joanne Roney OBE, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.

We will then bring you four topical discussions with an outstanding lineup of speakers, culminating on the final day with Ed Gillespie, Leading Sustainability Expert, and Mark Stevenson, Futurist and Top Selling Author, aka The Futurenauts. In their usual rambunctious and provocative style, they will explore the live and ongoing mass experiment we are all engaged in regarding the future of work. Read more



From exploring Manchester’s renowned Northern Quarter district, to an exclusive peek inside Europe’s largest and leading studio complex, our extensive lineup of tours will provide an opportunity to showcase the latest in office design and occupation, with focus on regeneration, sustainability, public realm and refurbishment.

Seminars will provide a forum for more intimate engagement in the fields of technologies, the metaverse, ESG, Net Zero Carbon, future occupiers and science. Take a look at the
tours and seminars on offer.


First up on our brand new NextGen-focused agenda is the Manchester 5K Running Tour, giving you the opportunity to see some of Manchester’s architecture and culture, whilst getting your fitness fix. You are then invited to join the NextGen Drinks Reception ‘After Party’ - an opportunity to meet and mingle with friends and colleagues at Freight Island, the perfect place to sample Manchester’s vibrant night life.

Over the following two days, there are lunches and mentoring opportunities to enjoy, as well as coffee and wrap roulette networking sessions. Learn more.









We are delighted to welcome Alex Lawlor and Vasiliki Bowler to the Photography Competition judging panel


Alex Lawlor, MRICS
Alex Lawlor, an Associate Director at Faithful+Gould, works within the corporate real estate sector delivering office fit-out and refurbishment projects for private sector clients. With an array of nominations and accolades under belt, she received Atkins Presidents Award 2018, finalist for BCO NextGen Rising Star L&SE 2019 and awarded Faithful+Gould's Employee of the Year in 2019. Her diverse qualifications in project management, structural engineering and architecture coupled with a personal interest in photography, she has a keen appreciation for creative design and an eye for detail. 


Vasiliki Bowler, MRICS
Vasiliki Bowler, a Senior Project Manager at Faithful+Gould, represents their Corporate Real Estate Forum and digital services. She specialises in client and stakeholder management, building prosperous relationships around her. Having recently been awarded the CIOB Rising Star Award, she now acts as a mentor, supporting professional development within Faithful+Gould as an APC supervisor and guest assessor. From school, to studying architecture to delivering fantastic construction projects – Vasiliki is passionate about the arts (visualisations, graphics, and photography to name a few) and appreciates its power to generate emotion and dialogue.

Thank you to Faithful+Gould for sponsoring the photography competition. Look out for the rest of the esteemed judges on the panel being announced before the conference! If you are thinking of entering the 2022 Conference Photography competition, take a look at some inspiration from around Manchester on Instagram:


We look forward to seeing what you capture while taking in the culture and sights at the conference! Enter and win up to £1000 in cash prizes. Learn more here.


Photography Competition (Instagram) hashtag: #LeadingLightManchester