Developing sustainable buildings


Sustainable buildings are more attractive to occupiers, cost less to run and are less likely to become obsolete, enhancing the long-term value of our property portfolio.

Building sustainable workplaces

Our Sustainable Development Brief

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To build resilient buildings we must reduce the resources used and carbon emitted, both during the development process and when in use by our occupiers. To be attractive to occupiers, we ensure wellbeing and improvements to the public realm are considered early in our designs.

In London, local authorities are including ambitious sustainability measures in their planning strategies. We welcome this approach and seek to exceed current regulatory requirements, using BREEAM and SKA to help us achieve high standards of sustainable design.

Our Sustainable Development Brief sets out our aspirations for each step of the design process in respect of energy, water, waste, materials sourcing, transport, ecology, occupiers, community, emissions, wellbeing and supply chain. Our Sustainability Tracker helps us monitor progress against the brief throughout the development.  

Striving for excellence

We use BREEAM as our sustainability assessment criteria, requiring all new builds to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. For major refurbishments we target BREEAM Excellent or Very Good depending on the scale and extent of the work. For refurbishments under 50,000 sq ft we use the RICS SKA system and look to achieve gold or silver ratings depending on the project.

Using smart technology

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is used on all our major development sites to improve collaboration between designers and contractors, so we can:

  • Identify and solve design issues in a virtual environment before starting on site
  • Reduce waste on site by improved sequencing and increased offsite manufacture
  • Improve the energy efficiency of the building through enhanced energy modelling

Reducing energy consumption

We use renewable energy and energy efficient solutions in the design of our mechanical and electrical services, such as solar hot water heating, photovoltaic panels and energy efficient cooling and heating technology.

Diverting waste from landfill


waste diverted from landfill

We set stretching targets for demolition and construction waste management to require the diversion of 95% of non-hazardous demolition and construction waste from landfill. During the year to March 2019 we achieved a diversion rate of 99%.


Maximising water efficiency

17 litres

of water per person per day saved through water efficiency at 12/14 New Fetter Lane

As part of design we look to meet and where possible exceed best practice guidelines on water conservation using a variety of water efficient devices. During the construction process we also monitor the volume of water used.

For more information on environmental data related to our developments see Our Performance.

Sourcing materials responsibly

We target FSC project certification on all new build developments and major refurbishments. At smaller refurbishments we specify that 90% of timber must be FSC certified. For all other construction products and materials, we support and give preference to the procurement of products from suppliers who are able to demonstrate compliance with a recognised responsible sourcing scheme, certified by a third party.  

Preserving and developing ecology

Urban greening measures such as green and brown roofs, green walls and planters, bird boxes and insect boxes all serve to improve biodiversity. They also help mitigate the heat island effect in cities. We ensure that biodiversity measures are considered early in the design process and, once in place, we provide information to occupiers on how to look after them when we have left the site.

Designing in Wellbeing

We integrate relevant health and wellbeing measures during the design process, considering matters such as air quality, views out, lighting design and how we can encourage physical activity.

Working collaboratively with suppliers and occupiers

Communication is the key to success. We produce a Occupier Action and Neighbourhood Plan to understand and minimise potential disruption that may be caused during our developments.

At key points during the design process we hold ‘Soft Landings Meetings’ to bring the design and building management teams together to discuss and exchange ideas. This process continues until after practical completion to ensure a smooth transition of the building between construction, commissioning, fit-out and occupancy.

Post Occupancy Evaluation surveys of our completed developments, which include extensive consultation with occupiers.


Our Post Occupancy Evaluation surveys have proved invaluable in providing feedback to our design and project teams working on other developments and have helped inform our Soft Landings process.

James Pellatt Director of Workplace & Innovation

Our Supplier Code of Conduct is issued to all our contractors and suppliers to provide clear guidance on our expectations in connection with:

  • Protecting our environment
  • Implementing high standards in health and safety
  • Looking after people
  • Preventing child labour
  • Encouraging apprenticeships
  • Avoiding forced labour
  • Wage and benefits
  • Working hours
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Working in our community

Our plans for the future

  • Update our Sustainable Development Brief to include clear guidance on measures to enhance occupier wellbeing through improved design.
  • Review the effectiveness of our soft landings process at completed developments.
  • Facilitate apprenticeships and work experience across our development projects.
  • Undertake a social value report to support a planning application for a forthcoming development.


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