Created on: 21st March 2018
Opened late last year in the City of London, Bloomberg’s new European headquarters has been named the “world’s most sustainable office building”, by its architect, Foster + Partners.
According to Foster + Partners, the building and interior design they created for Bloomberg actually “breathes” in response to weather, consumes 40% less power for lighting and saves or reuses enough water a year to fill 10 Olympic swimming pools. Carbon dioxide sensors can even push fresh air to where the most people are at a given time.
These and other features gave the building an “Outstanding” rating against the BREEAM sustainability assessment method with a score of 98.5%, which is apparently the highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development.
So, what makes it so special?
Key innovation highlights include:
Integrated Ceiling Panels, which combine heating, cooling, lighting and acoustic functions in a petal-leaf design. The system, which incorporates 500,000 LED lights, uses 40% less energy than a typical fluorescent office lighting system.
Rainwater from the roof, cooling-tower blow-off water, and grey water sources like basins and showers is captured, treated and recycled to serve vacuum flush toilets. These use net zero mains water for flushing. Overall, water conservation systems will save 25 million litres of water each year.
When the weather is temperate the building’s bronze blades open and close, allowing the building to “breathe” naturally. This reduced the dependency on mechanical ventilation and cooling equipment.
CO2 sensors allow air to be distributed according to the number of people occupying an area of the building at a given time. The ability to dynamically adjust airflow in response to occupancy hours and patterns is expected to save 600-750 MWhr of power a year, reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 300 metric tonnes.
On-site Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation supplies heat and power in a single system with reduced carbon emissions. Waste heat generated from this process is recycled for cooling and heating and, in use, is expected to save 500-750 metric tonnes of CO2 each year.
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