“We believe there should be a much greater emphasis on tackling climate change through the upgrading of existing buildings. Approximately two-thirds of the UK’s existing building stock pre-dates the introduction of any environmental requirement in UK building regulations. Therefore retrofitting existing buildings with green technology makes sense, particularly whilst new construction has slowed. The environmental agenda is often focused around housing stock, we consider the retrofit of commercial stock to be crucial to the wellbeing of London, the UK and the planet," said Paul Miller, Director of Special Projects, John Thompson & Partners.
The scheme includes experimental techniques such as using renewables as brises-soleil (photovoltaic panels at the top floor windows and evacuated solar-thermal tubes at second and third) and the suspension of phase-change panels below the ceiling, which contain paraffin to act as a heat sink during the day, when internal temperatures rise above 22°C. The outputs of the renewable installations have been monitored (1.2 megawatt hours generated by photovoltaics), as has energy consumption (50% reduction) plus water and waste reduction (50% and 500% reduction respectively).
David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change, awarded the 11 Sustainable City Awards, dubbed the ‘Green Oscars’ to reward businesses from the public and private sectors for their achievements in all areas of sustainable business development. He commented: “Business will be key in achieving the UK’s target to cut emissions by 80% in 2050. It is important to recognise and reward theefforts made by those getting sustainable business practices right.”