Plumtree Court, also known as The London Development Project 'LDP', situated ‘next to Holborn Viaduct in Farringdon Street, is the new European headquarters for global investment bank Goldman Sachs. This huge and prestigious scheme, nine storeys high, has 78,000m² of state-of-the-art, low-energy office space that sufficient for nearly 10,000 workers.’
The Sachs building has taken over the former historic site of the Fleet Building, a Central Telegraph Office, which handled over 25,000 faxes and Telexes at one time until its closure in 1962. In the years that followed, the site was utilised by British Telecom, remaining operational until around 2006 and later stood derelict before the previous building was demolished in 2014, and the land purchased for Goldman Sachs’s vast HQ. Nestled into the financial district and next door to the Italian Consulate, LDP features enough usable space for Goldman Sachs to consolidate several other workspaces to house around 6,000 of its employees under one roof,’ creating an HQ specifically designed for the investment bankers and their staff.
‘Bigger than 26 football pitches and has the largest trading floor in London.’
Evening Standard, 28th June 2019
In partnership with Multiplex Construction Europe and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Adexon® installed the Active Fire Curtain Systems necessary to prevent the spread of fire and smoke through the building, in the event of a fire. Due to the increased flexibility, and discreet design of Active Fire Curtains, the open-plan layout and high-spec design of the building remain uninterrupted, and spaces were given the necessary compartmentation requirements and ensure protected routes for safe egress were maintained.
Due to the highly secure nature of the building, security at Goldman Sachs was an element of challenge for the contractors on-site. Contractors were required to be inducted and use fingerprints to sign in and out to access the building.
Another challenge was logistics. Due to the busy, narrow roads surrounding LDP, and the required delivery methods, Adexon® faced real logistical challenges to deliver the Fire Curtains to the site.
As is commonly the case across London, contractors and delivery staff were also all required to be FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) accredited to ensure ‘exemplary levels of best practice in safety, efficiency, and environmental protection,’ which limited the contractors available for the job.
Similarly, goods needed to be palleted in a specific manner to allow for delivery, in specific, precisely timed delivery slots, in which goods arrived on site, and were then craned off flat-bed trucks to allow them to be lifted over the front of the building and brought down into the inner recesses of the site. A specific crane supervisor and lift plans were needed to ensure delivery was safe and efficient, as delays resulted in long queues and deliveries being sent away by the Police to stop blockages on the surrounding roads.
Within the building, Adexon® installed three Active Fire Curtains, with a variety of integrity ratings.
In the dining area, an FCe120 Active Fire Curtain was installed, with a bottom bar, side guides and headbox all powder coated in RAL 9010 white. This curtain provides a 120-minutes of integrity rating, meaning that it will prevent the passage of fire from the exposed to unexposed face for 120-minutes.
Across a transaction window within the scan room, an FCe90 Active Fire Curtain with brushed stainless steel side guides and a bottom bar was installed. This installation required a RAL powder coated headbox in the shade 9010 white alongside the stainless-steel finish of the side guides and bottom bar, which was an important aesthetic finish we were able to accommodate. This curtain allows for a 90-minute integrity rating from fire transition through the fire curtain.
Within the lobby, a smaller FCe30 Active Fire Curtain was installed, with a finish that mirrored that across the transaction window, with brushed stainless steel side guides and bottom bar, with a RAL powder coated headbox in shade 9010 white. Similarly, this curtain allows for a 30-minute integrity rating from fire transition from the exposed to the unexposed side of the curtain.
A showcase of design, it seamlessly blends architecture and program with form and function, resilience, and efficiency, achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ assessment.
As is visible in the products installed at Plumtree Court, Adexon® were successful in installing all Active Fire Curtains and fully completed the project in line with expected time frames in October 2018, despite the potential for problems due to logistical demands.
Adexon® were able to remain flexible and work around the needs of an extremely challenging and busy site, resulting in the successful installation of essential Active Fire Protection measures, maintaining the safety of inhabitants and the longevity of the building for years to come.
Cover Image and all further images from The Evening Standard, 'Revealed: New £1bn London HQ of Goldman Sachs...' <https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/revealed-new-ps1bn-london-hq-of-goldman-sachs-which-boasts-resting-rooms-for-tired-bankers-lactation-suites-for-mothers-a-nursery-and-preschool-a4177836.html> 07.12.2021
 Clipfine, ‘London Development Project,’ <https://www.clipfine.com/projects/london-development-project/s5572/> 25.11.2021
 Evening Standard, ‘Revealed: New £1bn London HQ of Goldman Sachs - which boasts resting rooms for tired bankers, lactation suites for mothers, a nursery and pre-school,’ <https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/revealed-new-ps1bn-london-hq-of-goldman-sachs-which-boasts-resting-rooms-for-tired-bankers-lactation-suites-for-mothers-a-nursery-and-preschool-a4177836.html> 25.11.2021