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Epic Buildings: One Embankment Place

Winner of the Building Magazine Project of the Year, the One Embankment Place renovation undertaken by project managers Turner & Townsend for PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), is a jewel in the crown of sustainable building in the UK.

After achieving one of the highest BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology)  ratings ever, attaining an impressive 96.31% rating, this newly renovated landmark on the London skyline is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the country. Pretty impressive when you consider the accountancy firm’s HQ is 9 stories high, with a footprint of 450,000sq ft.

So how did Turner & Townsend do it? Well, with a whole lot of cutting edge technology, of course. At stage B of the refurbishment, the company brought in an energy modelling specialist to develop a plan to boost One Embankment Place’s BREEAM rating. The final plan was then installed in the vast premises. This included using biofuel combined cooling heat and power, powered by absorption chillers fuelled with locally collected waste vegetable oil.

From waterless urinals and low flush toilets, to 95% responsibly sourced materials and a staircase in the atrium to promote stair usage instead of lifts, every element of One Embankment Place’s refurbishment has been undertaken with BREEAM firmly in mind. The premises even includes green walls and an interactive screen in the lobby to display the building’s energy usage.

Yet all of this environmentally friendly and sustainable building has not been at the expense of design or convenience. The spaces created by the refurbishment are bright, light and designed to accommodate PwC’s working style seamlessly. Best of all, the project is expected to pay for itself within 4 years thanks to vastly improved energy efficiency.

All of this work, including a complete plant replacement in the basement, was carried our with 2000 staff in situ making this huge undertaking even more challenging – and an even more impressive accomplishment.

Are you impressed by Turner & Townsend’s work on One Embankment Place? Have you ever worked on a commercial project with a high BREEAM rating or with staff remaining in situ? What was the experience like? Share your thoughts below.