Sustainable and eco-friendly office buildings not only help to keep staff motivated in the workplace but also contribute to helping the environment. In large cities such as London, pollution and waste are rife. These huge problems can only be combatted by environmentally conscious peoples and design. Sustainably designed offices can help reduce carbon emissions, and if the workforce is educated on recycling, water use and energy use, the whole building can work towards being sustainable and eco-friendly. Here are some of the top 5 most sustainable offices in the UK.
This office is the home of the Co-Op Group. Now with over 3000 people working here, the building sees employees located in one office for the first time. Building work on this eco-friendly office started in 2010 and was finished in 2013. By committing to a sustainable office building, Co-Op has shown their dedication to a socially responsible eco-design. The office itself is open plan, giving way to space and light for maximum staff productivity. Due to the sustainable design, Co-Op also saves around 40-60% in energy costs compared to before. Other features the building boasts are grey-water and rainwater recycling systems for toilet flushing and irrigation. Perhaps the most impressive feature though? The building has a combined heat and power plant which means it is its own source of heat.
The Bloomberg building is an incredible example of sustainable development. While the two buildings take up a massive 3.2 acres in central London, the office development received the rating “outstanding: from BREEAM, or the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. The workspaces are designed to encourage collaboration and teamwork, with unique pod desk set up. The desks can be organised to encourage personalisation, privacy or collaborative working. The building itself has a natural ventilation system, and throughout has Billi taps. Our taps encourage hydration and productivity within their offices.
In 2013, One Embankment Place was the most sustainable building in the world. The building came about as a result of a refurb, showing that re-using and refitting buildings can be beneficial for employees and the local community. The redesign was aimed to reduce carbon emissions by 50% and energy use by 25%. To achieve these goals, cooling, heat and power were fuelled by recycled vegetable waste that was collected and refined locally. Overall, “the building emits 40% less carbon than one typical of its size; and 20% of heat and 60% of its energy needs are produced on-site”.
You’d expect the National Trust to have an environmentally sound building and luckily enough, they occupy one of the greenest offices in the UK. Carbon emissions are 65% less than similar developments, largely due to an of array photovoltaic panels on the roof, which provide 30% of the annual electricity use. Eco-friendly materials, such as PVC-free linoleum and water-based paints were used throughout the building. There are some ingenious ideas here too, like the carpets in the building made from wool from the Trust’s flocks of Herdwick sheep and the ventilation snouts on the roof which come from recycled beer cans.
The secret to the success of Britain’s greenest warehouse is cannabis. Or rather, hemp, which turns out to be an excellent green construction material because it is fireproof, doesn’t degrade and is unattractive to vermin. At the brewery, it was used with lime as cavity wall insulation for the main warehouse. The building also claims to have the largest green roof in Britain. It’s densely planted with alpine sedum mosses and traps most of the rainwater that falls onto it, reducing the risk of flooding. Solar panels supply 80% of the power needed to heat water, and rainwater collected in an underground tank is used to flush toilets and wash the centre’s vehicles.
For more examples of sustainable office design, take a look at our case studies. Or, to see how our water systems compare to traditional systems, get in touch with our sales team. Billi taps can help you reduce your water usage, minimise your carbon footprint, and use less energy. Read more here on why the Billi boiling and chilled water systems helps to score high with BREEAM, LEED and SKA. Make the transition into a sustainable workplace today by making the switch to Billi.