Bloomberg's new European headquarters, in London, has achieved a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) "Outstanding" ranking and a design-state score of 98.5%, according to project designer Foster + Partners. That makes it one of the most sustainable office buildings in the world.
The building uses 73% less water and 35% less energy than a standard office. It recycles rainwater and other water sources, saving almost 7 million gallons of water a year; uses natural ventilation and CO2 sensors to deliver airflow based on the number of people in each building zone; and employs a combined heat and power system, which will save up to 826 tons of CO2 each year.
Scheduled to open later this month, the offices sit atop a hill where an ancient Roman temple was once located, according to Dezeen.
The BREEAM In-Use standard made its way to the U.S. last year with the goal of impacting as many of the nearly 6 million existing buildings in this country as possible. The organization offers a self-assessment tool that building owners can use to gauge how sustainable their buildings are and what steps they can take to improve.
The group has billed its method as a lower-cost alternative to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification program. BREEAM USA is a joint effort between environmental consultancy BuildingWise and BRE Group, which is the originator of the BREEAM standard.
The first U.S. property to earn the In-Use certification was The Oaks, a 1.3 million-square-foot retail center in Thousand Oaks, CA. The 1978 structure was retrofitted with 6,000 solar panels; LED lighting; a new, more efficient HVAC system; a 500 ton-per-year mixed recycling system; and updated thermal controls.
Late last year, the International WELL Building Institute and BRE announced plans to collaborate on their respective standards in order to determine parallels between the two.
WELL focuses on the health of building occupants through various design and other features such as using non-toxic finishes, designing interior layouts to encourage more movement throughout the day and providing healthy food options on-site.
The WELL Building Institute has also partnered with the American Institute of Architects to educate the latter's members on the standard.