The ‘white collar factory’ is a suite of ideas that provide a large stud height, smart servicing, a simple passive facade, deep plan and, if involving a new build, a concrete structure left exposed to draw on the benefits of thermal mass. As buildings become much more energy efficient, this last element picks up on the growing consensus around the contribution of embodied energy to a building‘s carbon footprint. For instance, making bricks uses less energy than making glass.
Urban design practise suggests that this robust typology forms good corner buildings or ‘bookends’ for a city block (emphasising more their ‘gravitas’ as well as ‘commodity and delight’). By reintroducing new build warehousing that offers an insulated, high stud, multi-use floorplate, we can provide new live/work amenity while retaining some of the city’s distinct mix of semi-industrial and gritty working class character.