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Environmental double for UBM building

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Multinational media company UBM's new London office at 240 Blackfriars Road on London's South Bank has received a second accolade for environmental efficiency.

UBM LEED 500The fit-out for UBM, which occupies the top nine floors of the 20-storey building, has just been rated Platinum under the LEED environmental accreditation scheme. This follows the BREEAM Excellent rating that the whole building achieved during the original construction process.

UBM employed architect Gensler to design the fit-out scheme for its space and multi-disciplinary engineering consultant Hilson Moran was responsible for the sustainability assessments for both BREEAM and LEED.

UBM selected an agile working model employing hot desking which requires employees to clear their desks after work each day, and encourages the highly flexible use of the space.

Hilson Moran director Chris Birch said: "It is a given that buildings need to achieve high standards of environmental efficiency and to be built sustainably, but it is important that any gains made when building the original structure are not lost during the fit-out. Through careful design and planning, and close collaboration between all the consultants, high standards can be maintained throughout.”

Hilson Moran was also the mechanical and electrical engineer, sustainability, fire and lift consultants for the base build, designed by architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

240 Blackfriars Road was developed by the Great Ropemaker Partnership, a 50:50 joint venture by Great Portland Estates and Ropemaker Properties, BP Pension Fund's property nominees. The building achieved practical completion in March 2014 and has 223,000 sq ft of offices and 4,822 sq ft of retail space at ground level.

Energy efficiency features incorporated in the original building include: high performance solar control glazing; efficient building services systems and appliances; LED lighting in office areas; efficient lighting and thermal systems controls; mechanical heat recovery via thermal wheels; high efficiency chillers for the offices; a centralised gas-fired hot water system for the offices; the use of a high efficiency low NOx boiler for heating; and the building has photovoltaic cells on the roof.

LEED, which originated in the USA, is claimed to be the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Based on the number of points that a project accrues, one of four LEED rating levels can be achieved, platinum being the highest.

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