A new building in London, having achieved the highest BREEAM score ever awarded to a major office development, may just be the world’s most sustainable office building. Bloomberg’ new European headquarters nabbed a 98.5% score and an “outstanding” rating. The building delivers a 73% savings in water consumption and a 35% savings in energy consumption compared to a typical office building.
Bloomberg’s headquarters was designed to make use of waste products, respond to the building’s external environment, and adapt to its occupancy patterns, Bloomberg says.
Sustainability Brings Savings during Construction
A spokesperson from BRE Global, the organization that operates the BREEAM environmental assessment, said a “relentless focus on innovation” was what led them to be able to take such a successful, integrated approach to sustainable construction and design.
Bloomberg says that building a sustainable office structure brings savings even during the construction phase. Using LED lights during the construction process, for example, saved the company 500,000 KWhr and more than $106,000, the company told Environmental Leader.
Design Elements of the ‘World’s Most Sustainable Office Building’
Some of the innovations built into the Bloomberg building include:
Integrated Ceiling Panels: custom-made ceiling panels combine heating, cooling, lighting and acoustic functions. The system incorporates 500,000 LED lights and uses 40% less energy than a typical fluorescent office lighting system.
Water Conservation: Rainwater from the roof, cooling tower blow-off water, and grey water sources, like basins and showers, is captured, treated and recycled to serve vacuum flush toilets. These use net zero mains water for flushing. Overall, water conservation systems will save 25 million liters of water each year.
Natural Ventilation: When ambient weather conditions are temperate, the building’s bronze blades can open and close, allowing the building to operate in a “breathable” natural ventilation mode. Reducing dependency on mechanical ventilation and cooling equipment significantly reduces energy consumption.
Smart Airflow: Smart CO2 sensing controls allow air to be distributed according to the approximate number of people occupying each zone of the building at any given time. The ability to dynamically adjust airflow in response to occupancy hours and patterns is expected to save 600-750 MWhr of power per annum, reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 300 metric tons each year.
Combined Heat & Power: An on-site Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation centre supplies heat and power in a single, efficient system with reduced carbon emissions. Waste heat generated from this process is recycled for cooling and heating and, in use, is expected to save 500-750 metric tonnes of CO2 each year.
Global Commitment to Sustainability Leads to Super Savings
Bloomberg says its sustainability commitments have helped the company save $95 million in operating costs since 2008. The company has eliminated nearly 700,000 metric tons of CO2 and, with the addition of the new London building, now has 34 LEED or BREEAM-certified projects globally. By the end of 2017, nearly 70% of the company’s 19,000 employees will occupy a sustainable office building.
Bloomberg has been a zero-landfill operation in London since 2010; waste is recycled, composted or converted to energy. The company says this commitment will continue at the new site, with better waste streaming to enable a greater proportion of waste products to be reused and recycled. Globally, Bloomberg currently diverts 75% of its total waste away from landfills and is targeting 90% diversion by 2020.
Bloomberg’ Sustainable Office Building Stats
Located between the Bank of England and St Paul’s Cathedral, the new European headquarters occupies 3.2 acres. The headquarters includes approximately 1.1 million square feet of office and retail space, three new public plazas, two featuring specially commissioned works of art, a dining arcade lined with independent restaurants, a new entrance to Bank Underground Station and an anticipated cultural space that will restore the ancient Roman Temple of Mithras to its original site.
The building will open on Oct. 27.