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UK Green Building Council aims to inspire businesses to upgrade office spaces

UK Green Building Council aims to inspire businesses to upgrade office spaces

UK Green Building Council aims to inspire businesses to upgrade office spaces

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) is seeking to motivate employers into upgrading their premises by leading from the front on cutting carbon emissions.

The organisation has just achieved the lowest embodied carbon footprint for an office refurbishment that has ever been recorded in the UK. This has come about thanks to a range of innovative measures designed to boost the sustainability of its premises in central London and the wellbeing of its workforce.

 

Indeed, the building's embodied carbon footprint came to just 139 kgCO2/m² - which is 22 per cent below what would be expected after a comparable "standard" fit-out.

Other notable highlights include a 48 per cent decrease in carbon emissions from lighting, while 98 per cent of the building's original fixtures and finishes were either reused or repurposed. Furthermore, 99.4 per cent of the construction waste generated throughout the project was diverted from landfill.

Energy-efficient and sustainable upgrades have been complemented with wellbeing measures incorporated into the design, intended to enhance the health and wellness of occupants, as well as boost staff satisfaction and productivity. This included an innovative ventilation system that has delivered a 750 per cent increase in background fresh air provision, an automated low-energy LED lighting system, a living wall with more than 1,500 plants and products and finishes that minimise and remove pollutants from the air.

The premises have also been designed to suit a number of different working styles, with a mixture of soundproof telephone booths for private calls, an open plan working area based on hot-desking, a standing meeting table that is height-adjustable and softer breakout spaces for social interaction and informal talks.

 

 

"UK-GBC hopes that this landmark project will inspire and encourage employers, landlords and occupiers alike to set the bar high when upgrading their office spaces," the organisation said. "It demonstrates that even a 160m² floor space can deliver phenomenal commercial, social and environmental value if each decision is challenged and scrutinised."

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of UK-GBC, stated that the organisation's purpose is to speed up the transformation of places so that both people and the planet are able to thrive.

"In refurbishing our own office space, we had a fantastic opportunity to trial and showcase the very best solutions sourced from our membership," she said. "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."

UK-GBC went on to stress that it will not be resting on its laurels, as it will closely evaluate the operational performance of the premises following the refurbishment. The building will be measured against performance factors such as air quality and energy efficiency, while staff will be regularly surveyed on their satisfaction levels at work.

UK-GBC will compare the findings with data gathered prior to the refurbishment to see if the wellbeing measures have had a positive effect. The organisation added that by evaluating the overhauled building post-occupancy, it will be able to "maximise the opportunities to learn from this refurbishment".

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock-ssuaphoto & iStock-baona