Office refit earns PricewaterhouseCoopers an Outstanding BREEAM rating

Office refit earns PricewaterhouseCoopers an Outstanding BREEAM rating

The company refurbished One Embankment Place to the highest of sustainable standards, receiving a BREEAM rating of 96.3% for the green initiatives.


Constructed above Charing Cross station, One Embankment Place was the UK’s first air-rights building. When it was acquired by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the company decided to refurbish the building to the highest of sustainable standards. This resulted in a BREEAM rating of 96.3%, which remains one of the highest scores a commercial building has received.


PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited is a multinational professional services brand of firms. The British-founded company operates as partnerships under the PwC brand.


Approximately 40,000m2 total floor area comprising a ground floor below the station and floor 1 to 9 above with structure, services and lifts passing through Charing Cross station. The current occupier PwC desired a high BREEAM rating as part of their corporate policy along with a good EPC score and considered this high on the priorities at concept stage, with the BREEAM requirements featuring high on the list next to space planning and cost analysis.



The project teams worked together to provide a number of sustainable solutions. Some highlights included:

  • Biofuel trigeneration CCHP with and absorption chillers

  • Biofuel sourced from locally collected and refined waste vegetable oil

  • Green walls and landscaped garden planting throughout the office

  • Waterless urinals and low flush toilets

  • Comprehensive metering strategy and BMS

  • Interactive screen in reception that displays the building’s energy usage

  • An innovation credit was achieved for the responsible sourcing of materials. >95% of materials used within the construction were responsibly sourced, with an ISO 14001 certificate as a minimum

  • A staircase was installed within the atria to promote vertical movement without the use of lifts


Sustainable building services

The base load of the chilled water demand is provided by two 400 kW adsorption chillers. Both chillers are driven by the hot water generated by two 520 kWe (KWe – electrical output) biodiesel, combined heat and power units.

The remaining cooling duty is met by three 1.5 MW screw chillers (two duty and one standby). To provide resilience in the system, the capacity of the screw chillers was sized to maintain the total peak load of the building via two units. This also provides back up, in cases where CCHP is down for maintenance.

Heating to the low-grade hot water circuit is provided by boilers. These serve the four-pipe chilled beams within the office floor plates and the trench heaters system. The air-handling units, fan coil circuits and the hot water service generation plant are all served by the constant temperature LTHW circuit.

Green strategy

To further solidify its green strategy, PwC entered into a knowledge-transfer partnership with London South Bank University.  This resulted in the bio fuel supplied to One Embankment Place being certified to EN14214.  The collaboration has also allowed PwC to run its CHP engine with clean, carbon neutral fuel, thus reducing the building's EPC to 11 (representing an A rating).

BREEAM assessment breakdown

Showcasing its commitment to sustainable practices, PwC scored the highest possible ratings across many BREEAM categories. The breakdown was as follows:

  • Management: 100%

  • Transport: 100%

  • Materials: 100%

  • Energy: 95.65%

  • Waste: 85.71%

  • Water: 83.33%

  • Land use: 80.00%

  • Innovation: 80.00%

Summary TP Bennett


TP Bennett
Structural engineers:
Building services:
BREEAM 2008 Offices
BREEAM rating:
Outstanding (96.3%)

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