The renovations of the UK Green Building Council’s headquarters in Central London have set a record for the lowest embodied carbon footprint ever recorded for an office refurbishment.
It should come as no surprise that any renovations conducted by the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC), not least the renovations of its own headquarters, would reflect the organization’s desire to “inspire best practice and leadership, influence government and policy, and impact our members’ sustainability performance.” The “charity and membership organisation which campaigns for a sustainable built environment” recently completed renovations on the Central London headquarters, designing and delivering a new workspace that it believes is “both better for people, and better for the environment.”
Some of the key stats from the completed refurbishment include an embodied carbon footprint 22% below a comparable “standard” fit-out, not to mention the lowest ever recorded in the UK. The refurbishment also accomplished a 48% decrease in carbon emissions from lighting, diverted 99.4% of construction waste away from landfill, and ensured that 98% of original fixtures and finishes were either reused or repurposed.
“UK-GBC’s purpose is to accelerate the transformation of places so that people and planet can thrive,” said Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of UK-GBC. “In refurbishing our own office space, we had a fantastic opportunity to trial and showcase the very best solutions sourced from our membership. I’m delighted at the outstanding results we have achieved – both to minimise our environmental footprint and to improve the wellbeing and productivity of our staff.”
In addition to measures which were intended to benefit the environment, the refurbishment also focused on wellbeing measures to improve staff satisfaction, including a living wall with over 1,500 plants, an automated low-energy LED lighting system, and a 750% increase in background air provision through an innovative ventilation system.
“As well as being a testbed where every component and output has been scrutinised and monitored, the project is an inspiring, healthy and comfortable place to work,” explained Tom Lacey, director of Barr Gazetas, which led the design and delivery of the refurbishment. “To have achieved such lofty technical targets whilst making a genuine difference for the people who use the space has been a rich learning experience that will have an effect on all our future work.”