UKGBC Office Refurb project 2016


September 23, 2017


Research & Innovation



UKGBC Office Refurb project 2016

The UK Green Building Council refurbished its London headquarters in 2016, with a design team drawn from its membership and the aim of challenging industry thinking as to what is achievable in a small scale fit out.

The project has achieved the lowest embodied carbon footprint ever recorded for an office refurbishment in the UK. It is an exemplar for sustainable office refurbishment and also features a range of innovative wellbeing measures, delivering a space that is both better for people, and better for the environment.

UKGBC hopes that this landmark project will inspire and encourage employers, landlords and occupiers alike to set the bar high when upgrading their office spaces. It demonstrates that even a 160m² floorspace can deliver phenomenal commercial, social and environmental value if each decision is challenged and scrutinised.

Key stats:

  • 139 kgCO2/m² – Embodied carbon footprint 22% below a comparable “standard” fit-out and the lowest ever recorded in the UK (SCP database, WRAP database)*
  • 48% decrease in carbon emissions from lighting
  • 99.4% of construction waste diverted from landfill
  • 98% of original fixtures and finishes reused or repurposed

Wellbeing measures have been incorporated into the design in order to improve staff satisfaction, productivity and overall health and wellness. These measures include: a beautiful living wall with over 1,500 plants; an innovative ventilation system, which has delivered a 750% increase in background fresh air provision; an automated low-energy LED lighting system; and products and finishes that minimise (and in some cases actively remove) pollutants from the air.

Check out our explainer video which includes interviews with the design team.

Read the press release

Read our blog

The brief and targets

The brief aimed to balance the health, wellbeing and productivity of the twenty-five regular office users with outstanding resource and energy efficiency and a low carbon approach.

Targets included:

  • The carbon cost (£/m2) meeting or exceeding the standard achieved by other comparable fit-out projects, with an aspiration to achieve the lowest measured fit-out carbon footprint in UK
  • 98% of the current fit out to be reused, repurposed or recycled, and a strong emphasis on new materials that are locally sourced with high recycled content and recyclability, each with an ‘end of life’ plan
  • Air quality maximised in line with the relevant WELL Standard requirements, including the minimisation of VOCs from materials used, and the provision of ample fresh air
  • Reducing energy used per employee for lighting and small power by 40% by 2020 compared to a 2013 baseline, with the overall performance (including HVAC) should equal or better the REEB best practice benchmark
  • At least a 10% improvement in staff satisfaction with the office environment.

Thanks to:

  • Tass
  • Honeywell
  • Winkworth Sherwood
  • MLM
  • Mobile Compactor Services Ltd

The fit out was completed in October 2016.


Thanks to Design & Delivery team

Thanks to key suppliers

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