Victoria Street, London, demonstrates excellence in workplace design

The drive to provide healthy office space was part of a wider health, wellbeing and productivity push at Landsec, with BREEAM providing the framework to ensure positive levels of thermal, acoustic and environmental comfort.

BREEAM Oustanding (92.3%)
Version:
BREEAM UK Refurbishment and Fit-Out 2014
(Part 3 & 4)

Architect: KKS

Client: Landsec

Contractor: Archie Burns, Mansell plc

Assessor Company: RES Design

About the building

In December 2016, Landsec, the largest commercial property company in the UK, moved their office headquarters to 80-100 Victoria Street, a building constructed in 2006 that is part of their property portfolio in the Victoria area of London.

Relocation provided Landsec with the opportunity to adopt a new workplace strategy aimed at increasing communication and collaboration. All employees, approximately 470 people, could be accommodated upon a single floor plate, designed to promote activity-based working and improve staff health and wellbeing.

The project reduces negative impacts on the environment through responsible sourcing, minimising embodied carbon intensity and reducing waste to record low levels. It demonstrates how an existing building could be adapted to meet the highest standards in health and wellbeing. The project will become the first dual-certified workplace in the world to reach the level of BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Silver, setting a global benchmark for sustainable office space.

Why BREEAM?

The drive to provide healthy office space was part of a wider health, wellbeing and productivity push at Landsec, with BREEAM providing the framework to ensure positive levels of thermal, acoustic and environmental comfort.

Green Strategy

The strategy for 80-100 Victoria Street was designed to deliver on all twelve of Landsec’s sustainability commitments, covering priority areas of creating jobs and opportunities, efficient use of natural resources and sustainable design and innovation. Using BREEAM as a framework, the team set stretching targets for optimising wellbeing factors, reducing embodied carbon and responsible sourcing. The achievements of the project would support the Landsec drive to become the UK listed real estate sustainability leader.

Aware that early integration is critical to success, the client gathered a team of specialists to start designing the project in the summer 2015, bringing the mechanical and electrical and main contractor on board early through PCSAs. With clear directives endorsing the message of sustainability at strategic definition, a collaborative and multilaterally supportive team initiated the design. The culture of the team was established – to work hard, but closely together, in a frank and positive atmosphere.

Health & Wellbeing

The agile workplace can accommodate 470 employees, with their wellbeing at the heart of the Landsec business objectives:

  • Employee wellbeing: a juice bar and free healthy snacks in the social hub; shower rooms to encourage cycling; opportunities for people to eat away from their desks, such as the roof garden and spaces within the surrounding Cardinal Place development.
  • Providing the right conditions for productivity: white-noise machines at strategic points in open-plan areas reduce background distractions and increase privacy levels without the need for physical walls; there are also quiet rooms and soundproof booths.
  • Ensuring comfort: to maximise access to natural light, there are clear sight lines, e.g. partitions removed; artificial lighting is programmed to be neither too bright nor too dull; circadian lighting systems match the behaviour of natural light, changing to mimic the time of day.

Energy

Energy efficiency is a core component of the company sustainability framework. In 2016 Landsec was the first commercial real estate company in the world to announce it has set a science-based target for carbon reduction, just two months after becoming the first property company in the UK to switch to 100% renewable electricity. With stringent energy efficiency targets in place for developments, the following efficiency measures were delivered:

  • The office features the largest Microsoft installation in the UK, with the integration of Surface Hub Screens, which allow quick connectivity and alleviate the need for paper in meetings. Energy Star equipment was delivered throughout the space to reduce operational energy use. LED lighting and efficient building services were carefully selected to enhance performance and reduce energy demands.

To bridge the energy performance gap, TM54 was used as a tool to evaluate energy performance at design stage. The TM54 modelling is currently used by the client energy management team to assess performance against design intent, and will underpin the energy performance element of the post occupancy evaluation. A high level of metering was also specified, to allow useful information to be gathered and utilized for fine-tuning, learning and reducing unnecessary expenditure.

Materials

With the client’s avid support, designers worked closely with the BREEAM team to adapt and innovate accredited products. The construction team also worked closely with the client to co-ordinate the works to reduce construction waste:

  • The design needed to be creative and strong to allow for the limited range of suppliers and manufacturers who are compliant with responsible sourcing criteria. Existing furniture was utilised when possible.
  • 99.91% of materials achieved BREEAM requirements. Just 6 items across the entire fit-out were not able to provide responsible sourcing certification. This included furniture, with component level responsible sourcing carried out across the scheme. FSC Project Certification was also achieved with furniture also assessed, achieving 99% FSC certified.
  • The team persuaded suppliers to deliver materials in reusable plastic crates, most notably with the entire lighting package which created no packaging waste. Surplus materials were returned to their manufacturers, which reduced total construction waste to just 50 cubic metres.

Innovation Credits

  • Aftercare (Man 05) –collecting building performance data for 3 years, post-occupation. In fulfilment of this criteria, a Leesman workplace satisfaction survey was undertaken in April 2017. The survey demonstrated that satisfaction with lighting increased by 25% and air quality levels by 40%, when compared to the previous office. 88% of staff now feel that the office design enables them to work productively, against the global average of 67% and showing a 20% increase from Landsec’s previous office. Landsec received the highest pre-post score for workplace satisfaction, and were ranked number 1 in the world, achieving the Leesman+ Certification.
  • Life Cycle Impacts (Mat 01) – Embodied carbon was also reduced in recognition of the whole-life impacts of the project. Using the BRE IMPACT methodology, the project assessed and achieved an embodied carbon intensity which is almost half of comparable projects, with an 11.5% embodied carbon reduction made in delivery against initial designs. This was achieved through specification of low carbon materials including 79% recycled aluminium and 44% recycled carpet tiles, as well as exposed ceilings and frameless internal glazing.

“Landsec was committed to BREEAM Outstanding to demonstrate the company’s commitment to sustainability, and to provide a framework to support the delivery of high quality space which would enable the company to achieve its ongoing objectives in-use.”

Caroline Hill, Head of Sustainability, Landsec

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