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The UK’s best eco-friendly office spaces

Written by: Ian Harrington on Tuesday 23/02/2016

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The benefits of an eco-friendly environment in which to work have long been recognised. Not only does a ‘green’ space increase employee efficiency, productivity and health, but it also helps to lessen the environmental impact of going about your daily business. We look at some of the UK’s best examples of eco-friendly office spaces.

1 Angel Square, Manchester

According to the Building Research Establishment (BRE), 1 Angel Square, which is the HQ of the Co-operative Group, was the most environmentally friendly office building not only in the UK but also in the world, when it was opened in 2013. BRE’s assessment system gave the building a BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) score of 95.16% ‘Outstanding’ – which is the highest ever awarded. The stunning building, designed by 3DReid, features its own heat and power generation source capable of feeding  back into the national grid; a heat recovery system which diverts heat created by the IT system into heating the building; a twin skin facade which insulates the building to cool it in summer and heat it in winter; an atrium which illuminates the interior of the building reducing the amount of electricity needed for lighting by 50%; rainwater recycling systems for WCs and to irrigate greenery within the building; and  low energy IT equipment and lighting.

7 More London

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ HQ, also received an ‘Outstanding’ accolade from BRE and scored 96.31% in its BREEAM rating system. Designed by Foster and Partners, it incorporates a host of environmental features such as a facade which offers both insulation and shade; a Combined Cooling, Heating and Power system (CHP) trigeneration plant which produces 47% less Co2 emissions from its heat, cooling and power sources than is required by the 2006 Part L Building regulations; solar hot water panels; green roofs and a rubble roof to provide a habitat for urban birds; a rainwater harvesting facility for non-potable needs; a construction system which used 80% recycled aggregate in the concrete; and up to 25% of the energy needs supplied by the use of recycled cooking oil.

Building 12, The Open University

Building 12, The Open University, Milton Keynes, was designed by Ridge as a blueprint for offices of the future and combines sustainability, functionality and low maintenance in its environmentally passive design and construction. Opaque shades prevent glare and reduce solar gain; ventilation is controlled by manually-adjustable louvers which both minimises a reliance on mechanisation and avoids breakdowns; the construction makes use of thermal mass to reduce the need for excessive cooling and heating; thermal insulation is abundant; and renewable energy sources, such as solar thermal panels, photovoltaic panels and ground source heat pumps, were also incorporated and resulted in the building also being awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating from BREEAM.

These three, modern, eco-friendly and sustainable offices are the exemplar to which others aspire. Of course there are many other examples of ‘green’ office spaces throughout the country which provide a healthy, smart environment in which to work and which benefit both the environment and the people working there. If you’d like help sourcing such a place for your next office move, contact the Eddisons team.

Not only does a ‘green’ space increase employee efficiency, productivity and health, but it also helps to lessen the environmental impact of going about your daily business

Written by: Ian Harrington on Tuesday 23/02/2016

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