20 Ropemaker Street recognised by world’s leading sustainability assessment method

20 Ropemaker street is currently the largest building with an ‘Outstanding’ rating under the BREEAM ‘New Construction 2018’ standard. Designed by MAKE Architects, for Old Park Lane Management Ltd it is set to bring a dynamic, new landmark commercial building to the City of London.

Developed for Great Elms Assets Limited, the Hilson Moran Environmental Buildings team has worked tirelessly with the client, development managers CO-RE, design team and contractor, Skanska, to help push the boundaries of sustainable buildings, extract the highest sustainability credentials from the project and employ several innovative measures to meet BREEAM Outstanding.

The 2018 rating system covers ten categories of sustainable practices for buildings: Management, Health and Wellbeing, Energy, Transport, Water, Materials, Waste, Land use and Ecology, Pollution and Innovation.

Ropemaker secured maximum credits in both Management and Transport, and wellbeing played a major part in the focus of the entire accreditation (the scheme is also on track to achieve a WELL Platinum rating), ensuring the building would be a healthy and attractive place to work in the long term.

The project is also an excellent example of sustainable water use with comprehensive mains water metering and sub metering, mains leak detection and sanitary supply shut off to prevent leaks in WC areas, and water efficient irrigation and cooling tower systems. Efficiency was a key driver too with passive design solutions developed to reduce both energy demand and CO2 emissions.

Andrew Moore at Hilson Moran, said: “We don’t see BREEAM as a tick box exercise, we see it as a powerful tool to challenge the status quo and to achieve best practice in a whole range of areas on a project.

“Working collaboratively with a client that has a strong vision and a design team who was prepared to take on the challenge and who, like us, place a high value on sustainable, low carbon design and development, has been a valued experience. We are delighted to have led the team and be part of this achievement.”

Robert Lunn, project architect, said: “This was a real labour of love and one that can only be achieved with a collaborative team effort. We have looked at everything from best practice commissioning, enhancing transport provisions and energy metering, to an embodied carbon review of the superstructure materials and a reduction strategy that will hopefully be put in place in the construction.

“There are no shortcuts with an accreditation of this nature, and it really requires buy-in from all members of the design team but has been driven from the outset by the client. Hopefully by securing ‘Outstanding’ on a scheme of this size, in a dense location on the boundary of Islington and the City of London, we have demonstrated unequivocally that it can be done and hope it will encourage others to follow suit.”

The building is also on track to achieve a WELL V2 Platinum rating. WELL v2 is now the most resilient and responsive version of the WELL Building Standard, having undergone a rigorous improvement and refinement process. According to the International WELL Building Institute, (IWBI), WELL includes strategies that aim to advance health by setting performance standards for design interventions, operational protocols and policies and a commitment to fostering a culture of health and wellness.

Taking into consideration the ten concepts in WELL v2: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community; the building is set to reach the highest certification rating. The project has thus implemented numerous strategies such as, among many others, ensuring optimum air and water quality, access to nature, acoustic strategies to reduce noise, as well as providing educational resources for all occupants on health and wellbeing. The building will also have monitoring policies in place, which will ensure it performs as intended, and thereby guaranteeing a healthy space throughout its lifetime.

Ropemaker will thus combine the benefits of environmental performance along with health and wellbeing benefits of occupants, making it a unique, vibrant and future-looking development, which will undoubtedly be used as an example for future projects.

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