Extreme Sustainability – The PwC Building, London
In 2014, One Embankment Place in London, (the UK headquarters for PwC) achieved the highest BREEAM rating recorded worldwide.
Which translates as to being the most sustainable corporate building in the world. And they did this by refitting the existing building too. The company decided it was possible to refurbish the structure into a world-first for energy efficiency and low carbon technology.
PwC staff along with locals and businesses were involved with in the development to ensure the plan worked for everyone.
When building work commenced the original structure was stripped back but continued to be used by 2000 staff. To minimise disruption staff occupied floors 5 to 9 while the lower floors were refurbished, and then shifted below to enable refitting of the remainder.
The list of new technologies used is awe-inspiring. Eco friendly additions included:
- A tri-generation combined cooling, heat and power system, fuelled by recycled waste and vegetable oil.
- Chiller beams to replace air conditioning units.
- Low-power lift braking.
- Eco-friendly carpet tiles and electrical charging points.
- Waterless urinals and low flush toilets.
- Open plan spaces and airy atria to provide natural light.
- And roof gardens and green walls to contribute to the building’s ecology
Through out the rebuild, 95% of materials were sourced responsibly and 96% of construction waste was diverted from landfill.
Early estimates suggested that PwC could save a total of £250,000 a year on utility bills. The refurbishment is expected to pay for itself in less than four years. An amazing achievement indeed.