Downing Street wins special BREEAM award
- Property ,
- Construction ,
- Life Cycle Analysis ,
- Ecodesign ,
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.
In 2020, amid the global crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw numerous cross-sector collaborations involving tech companies, aiming to create smart solutions that would amplify positive environmental and social impacts across sectors and organisations – for example in online healthcare or mRNA vaccine platform technology. This led the public health crisis to be referred to as “the digital accelerant of the decade” by US cloud communications platform Twilio.
The UK's largest defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have received a letter from the Make My Money Matter campaign urging them to set net-zero emission targets ahead of the COP26 climate summit later this year.
New jobs that help drive the UK towards net-zero emissions are set to offer salaries that are almost one-third higher than those in carbon-intensive industries, research suggests.
The UK government's investment plans for green jobs lag far behind those of most G7 countries, potentially undermining its net-zero emissions target, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has warned.
Three environmental campaigners have launched a legal challenge against the UK government over its support for the production of North Sea oil and gas that is only economic because of subsidies, the Paid to Pollute campaign has announced.