Despite a challenging live refurbishment, professional services firm PwC’s 450,000 sq ft headquarters in London has been given the highest ever BREEAM rating, for both new builds and existing structures, with a score of 96.31%.
BREEAM is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. The system aims to encourage designers, clients and others involved to think about low-carbon and low-impact design, minimising the energy demands created by a building. The areas measured include water use, energy efficiency, pollution and management processes.
PwC’s final score was boosted by a 100% mark in the materials, transport and management categories. The company had set sustainability aims from the outset and used a modelling specialist to develop different options for achieving the high BREEAM rate.
The final plan saw the installation of biofuel combined cooling heat and power (CCHP) with absorption chillers using biofuel sourced from locally collected refined waste vegetable oil. Other measures included low flush toilets, an interactive screen confirming the buildings energy usage and responsibly sourcing 95% of materials used within the construction.
Gavin Dunn, director of BREEAM, said, “The impressive BREEAM score for this iconic building shows just how much can be accomplished. The project is a fantastic testament to PwC’s determination to achieve a high rating and to the project’s innovative and highly committed delivery team.”
PwC has previously improved buildings to boost its sustainability credentials. In 2010, a new building for PwC was the first building in the capital, and the first major office in the UK, to be awarded the BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating.
At the beginning of the year, a report jointly published by PwC and the Urban Land Institute found that refurbishing existing buildings to new standards and turning them into green assets was one of the best bets for the property sector in 2013.
Respondents to the survey reported that sustainability credentials in real estate help maximise finance, mitigate obsolescence and underpin security of income. Sustainability was identified as the top business issue for the real estate industry by 96% of participants.