Social value has been a priority at 245 Hammersmith Road since it first came into existence. The property is a 242,000 sq ft destination at the “heart of Hammersmith”. The property includes flexible workspace, three retail units, a public plaza and a park.
Since conception, property owners L&G and Mitsubishi London have been dedicated to ensuring that these spaces provide social value. And not just for the building’s users, but for all the local community. This commitment was eagerly taken forward by building manager BNP Paribas Real Estate once the building became operational.
To ensure all their endeavours really produce tangible results, we have been measuring social value since the building was in construction. As the property’s community continues to mature, this focus on social value will increasingly drive the mindset, not only of the management team, but of all the building’s suppliers.
The importance of social value
From the beginning, the building’s approach to measuring social value has been based around five key themes outlined in the National TOMs:
- Promoting local skill and employment
- Supporting responsible and regional business growth
- Creating stronger and healthier communities
- Protecting and improving our environment
- Promoting social innovation
“Having these social value measures firmly in place from the beginning has meant the team could focus on finding tangible ways to provide opportunities for those who might not get a chance to meet their full potential otherwise.”
- Louis Chapman, assistant building manager within BNP Paribas Real Estate’ management team for the property.
Cultivating the community feel
“There are so many ways that we can meet targets on the portal and social value can be built into pretty much every aspect of what we do,” Louis said.
“From sourcing planting locally as we do with Hammersmith and Fulham Community Gardens, to providing placements for young disabled people trying to find their way into work, which we do with Action On Disability. It can even be as simple as providing a safe clean space for a local charity group to meet or hold a meeting. If we have the resource, why not share it with our neighbours and cultivate that community feel that we all love so much?”
The financial and time commitments put into all projects are logged in the Portal and calculated against the National TOMs. These include work with Action on Disability or the plethora of networking events hosted at 245 Hammersmith Road, for example.
“This gives us a percentage against our target as a building as well as a monetary figure,” Louis explained. “In year one, we managed to exceed our targets overall reaching approximately 130%, which amounts to roughly £700,000 in social and local economic value provided to the borough. As we’re reaching the end of year two, we’re well on track to exceed this target once again. The pandemic certainly hasn’t stopped us from trying to provide for our community.”
These efforts are clearly making a difference. By the end of the construction phase, the project had delivered £28.2 million in social value, 211% of the initial target. While local economic value totalled £26.1 million. The team provided 61 mentoring hours for young people, 714 weeks of training and 440 hours of community volunteering.
In June 2021, the property won the Social Value Innovation Project Award. This is a testament to the how the team has created a ‘socially aware’ mixed-used scheme, with social value embedded into all decision making. Undoubtedly, the team’s success can in part by attributed to embedding social value into the procurement process from the start. All contractors signed up to our Portal, right from the initial design and build process.
245 Hammersmith Road management team have a commitment to social value. Part of this includes exploring how its strategy can evolve as the building matures. The team is exploring ideas for how it can incorporate social value in even more aspects of what their building provides. Such as, using a local charity to provide a service or providing work placements for disadvantaged people. And Louis is certain that the wider asset management world should be making similar plans.
“Social value can be implemented in so many different ways that it can be tailored to any site, big or small. If people aren’t getting involved, they absolutely should be.”
Interested in learning more about our work on 245 Hammersmith Road? Hear more on our Portcast episode ‘Creating stronger, healthier communities’.