Downing Street wins special BREEAM award

7th March 2013

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The prime minister's residence has been recognised at the annual BREEAM awards after refurbishments significantly improved its sustainability rating

The 10-12 Downing Street building complex was awarded a special prize for being the most improved building in the BREEAM in-use category, at a ceremony recognising the 17 highest-scoring buildings certified last year under the environment assessment and rating scheme.

The listed Georgian terrace, which is both home and office for the prime minister and the chancellor, is undergoing its first refurbishment for 50 years. Improvements have included the introduction of voltage optimisation, waste heat recovery and rainwater harvesting equipment and the installation of a controlled lighting system. These measures have resulted in the building’s BREEAM rating improving from “good” to “very good”, and its energy performance score improving from an “E” to a “D” DEC rating.

The 300-year old building, which is managed by ETDE, was awarded top scores in its BREEAM audit for waste and water, and scores of 89.3% for building management and 88.9% for materials.

Other BREEAM award winners this year included Armstrong Point, a business park near Wigan, which aims to be the UK’s first industrial estate to use renewable energy and heating technologies to cut energy costs to “zero”. It achieved an “outstanding” in its BREEAM audit. The three-building park, which officially opened last November, has photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine providing its energy, while a solar wall provides its main heat source.

The Co-operative Group’s new head office in Manchester, One Angel Square, was named as the best-rated office building, with an “outstanding” rating and an overall score of 92.25%. The 15-storey building has been designed to maximise natural heating and light, and will use a combined heat and power (CHP) plant run on waste cooking oil, greywater recycling systems and low-energy IT equipment.

Meanwhile, Edge Lane Hospital in Liverpool was named as the best healthcare building, while Waitrose’s Bracknell store topped the retail category.

“Statistics released at the end of 2012 for BREEAM suggest that developers and owners are continuing to treat sustainability as a priority, despite the tough economic climate,” said Richard Hardy, managing director of BRE Global, which manages BREEAM.

Since the scheme was launched in 1998, more than 250,000 buildings have been assessed, and 2012 was a record year for registrations and certifications, confirmed Hardy.

“One of the reasons for this continuing commitment to making buildings more sustainable is the growing evidence that the greater efficiency and quality associated with sustainability is also helping to make such buildings more commercially successful,” he said.

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