Momentum is a pioneering new industrial and logistics development, situated across 20 acres of prime land in Rainham, right alongside the busy River Thames cycle path in the nation’s capital.
We instantly saw the potential of this site and in early 2022, bought the land in a joint acquisition with Barings, bringing forward a connected, cohesive highly-sustainable I&L scheme which consists of four units – ranging in size from 41,126 sq ft to 171,406 sq ft.
A sustainable vision
Central to our plans is sustainability, and it is our intention that Momentum will pioneer new ideas, targeting Net Zero carbon enabled in operation, an A+ EPC rating, a BREEAM Excellent rating and net zero carbon in construction.
We embarked on a period of intensive research to ensure the scheme included the very latest technologies and practices; we found novel ways to include more Photovoltaic (PV) panels – many buildings tend to only feature PV panels across about 10% of their roof space, whereas we will be covering the whole of each roof to self-generate as much electricity as possible for our occupiers.
In fact, we expect the energy output to be so high that the surplus electricity from the panels will also be able to charge every car in the site’s 57 planned EV car charging spaces!
Working with our M&E engineers, Anderson Green, we assessed exactly what power would be needed for each building to operate by 100% self-generated electric. We then worked with other consultants, Low Carbon Alliance, to determine exactly what PV coverage each building needed to ensure it was 100% capable of operating off its own solar power supply.
And it’s not just power supply – we have invested in extensive landscaping with 225 new trees across the site, increasing natural habitats by 86%. We’re also looking at future options for the site and are excited by the nearby wharf which could be used as an alternative route for water goods.
A prime location
Momentum has other credentials too. The location is simply too good to ignore – it’s in a great spot on the A13 corridor into London, just minutes from the M25, close to the Port of Tilbury. Its geography, and the strength of this region’s I&L market, gave us confidence as we speculatively delivered this scheme.
There also aren’t many buildings of this size within the M25, so we knew there was an appetite for high quality new stock – something HBD colleagues and trusted advisors at CBRE and local market specialist Glenny could capitalise on. These efforts meant we already had several target names in sight when we embarked on the project – notably logistics companies looking to serve the London borough from an easily accessible location.
A collaborative approach
Our investment partners at Barings have an 80% equity stake in the scheme, with HBD providing the remaining capital.
We have worked closely throughout the project, securing planning in July 2022, then moving as fast as possible through contractor procurement; wary of the macroeconomic environment faced by contractors who were still impacted by the twin effects of Covid and Brexit, we ultimately appointed Readie Construction, with whom we’ve worked many times. Our preferred delivery partner, they are East London-based and the fit was spot on.
Since starting on the project Readie has focussed on engaging the local employment market and created several local apprenticeships and jobs for local people. In addition to people, Readie have committed to sourcing local materials where possible, to date over £2.5m of material have been installed from suppliers located within a 30-mile radius of the scheme.
Creating a scheme of this nature is never without its challenges and of course we had to work closely and sensitively with an array of existing occupiers, using our expertise to form relationships on the ground and deliver a scheme that benefitted the whole area.
We knew that the planning process was not going to be the fastest we’ve achieved because of the size of the site, but we were again able to draw on the team’s extensive experience to minimise the time and we secured planning approval in just 12 months.
Now, Momentum is fast becoming a reality, and somewhere that will raise the bar for I&L sustainability and give businesses in this area of London somewhere they can be proud to call home.
Our partner Darren Hutchinson, Head of UK Real Estate Transactions and Managing Director at Barings, said that Momentum “is a strategically located logistics scheme with strong environmental and social credentials, beneficial both to future occupiers and the communities around it. Logistics is one of Barings’ preferred investment sectors and Momentum London exemplifies the kind of developments we’re seeking, and we’re keen to explore more joint ventures like this one with HBD.”