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HMP Thameside

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HMP Thameside

  • An aerial view of HMP Thameside
  • The visitor space at HMP Thameside is warm and welcoming
  • Prisoner facilities in HMP Thameside are modern and functional
  • The security facilities at HMP Thameside are discrete and effective

A world-first ‘Outstanding’ custodial building

Our work to improve the facilities at HMP Thameside has seen the category B prison become the highest-rated custodial building for sustainability performance in the world.

Working together with our long-standing customer, Serco, we carried out work at the prison, home to over 1,200 prisoners serving remand or conviction sentences, to reduce capacity pressure and provide efficient, safe and sustainable facilities, located in South-East London. This was delivered in three phases:

  • Construction of the main prison facility, 2009 to 2012
  • Extension to the existing facility, 2014 to 2015
  • Replacement pharmacy and new Video Court Centre, 2020 to 2021

Working in a safe and secure environment

This phased approach meant everybody could work together safely, while simultaneously keeping the existing facilities secure throughout the build period.

The construction of the main building means the prison can provide accommodation and facilities for education, rehabilitation, medical treatment, training, sports, worship, visits, administration, horticulture and security. Inmates can also improve their skills with the prison’s vocational training workshops.

Our strong relationship with Serco, which began over 30 years ago, meant we returned to build an extension to the existing facility. This provided an additional 332 prisoner places to meet the growing demand and pressures on the facilities at HMP Thameside.

Further work carried out in 2020 to replace the pharmacy has significantly increased its capacity to meet the medical needs of the inmates. The facilities provided by the new Video Court Centre, developed as part of the Ministry of Justices’ Reconfiguration Project, will reduce the need to travel to court hearings, helping to alleviate the challenges of secure transportation of prisoners and reducing carbon emissions.

Facilities that protect the environment

The main prison building is designed to make water and energy use more efficient. Water-saving measures include time/flow limiting controls and dual-flush systems on toilets. A building management system monitors energy use, and an intelligent lighting system ensures they automatically turn on and off, as required.

World first

The main living unit was the first prison building in the world to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ BRE environmental assessment method (BREEAM) rating, while all nine of the other buildings have an ‘Excellent’ rating.


Service: Construction
Mark segment: Custodial
Concept: Sustainability case study
Start date: 2010
Completion date: 2015
Clients: Ministry of Justice, Serco
Country: United Kingdom
City: London
Contract value: 100 M GBP
Project status: Completed



BREEAM 'Outstanding' Award
Main living unit
BREEAM 'Excellent' Award
Nine other buildings