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Low Carbon Workplace

Delivering high quality, low carbon offices that are inspiring, comfortable, excellent value for money and leading edge in their energy usage.

premier-house
Low Carbon Workplace transformed Premier House into a modern, desirable, energy efficient office that we’re proud to call home.
Jonathan Ling, Thames Valley Housing

With the built environment contributing ca. 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, and the majority of these emissions coming from existing and aging buildings, there is need to decarbonise the existing stock.

As a response, we created the Low Carbon Workplace (LCW) initiative in 2010 to prove that energy-efficient, low-carbon buildings are not just necessary, but also highly profitable.

Low Carbon Workplace fund

To bring the concept to life, we created the LCW property fund with our partners Columbia Threadneele and Stanhope. The fund buys buildings with the potential to become modern, efficient offices with low energy costs and improved employee well-being and productivity. The fund has grown to seven buildings totalling 274,000 square feet and is valued at ca. £260m.

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The LCW offer

We aim to refurbish our acquired buildings into modern, energy efficient workplaces. Carbon Trust’s expertise adds value across the project life, enhancing the benefits for all stakeholders from investors to tenants.

Our unique offer, which impacts all value chain although sitting under the operational life of the project, is the ongoing support we provide to our occupiers, where we help them to minimise their energy costs and carbon emissions.

The Carbon Trust has created the LCW Standard, which assesses quantitative energy performance, qualitative sustainability performance and carbon management, under which the occupiers are assessed and granted it. Our occupiers must sign the LCW Charter to signal their commitment to work with us to minimise their carbon emissions through our ongoing support.

In the inception stage, Carbon Trust and LCW set the strategy and targets which:

  • Address the role of the landlord in existing buildings and the challenge of climate change
  • Set holistic sustainability targets that go beyond regulations and futureproof buildings
  • Improve the building users’ health and wellbeing
  • Align with funders’ and stakeholders’ aims

Carbon Trust’s leading position in low carbon sector is instrumental in fundraising through:

  • Leveraging Carbon Trust’s strong sustainability brand
  • Supporting fundraising from institutional investors, green bonds, bank loans
  • Providing the opportunity to invest in a fund with demonstrable positive environmental impact

LCW identifies buildings which through refurbishment have the potential for:

  • Inherent energy saving features and characteristics
  • Achieving EPC B or better
  • Achieving BREEAM Excellent
  • Access to public transport networks, cycle highways and local amenities
  • Becoming Low Carbon Workplace compliant developments

LCW takes all necessary actions and ensures energy consumption and CO2 emissions are minimised through:

  • Full deep sustainable refurbishment across the whole building
  • Enhancing passive energy saving elements, such as natural light and thermal mass
  • Complete overhaul of internal environment strategies with highly efficient mechanical and electrical equipment
  • Advanced controls to automate energy savings
  • Extensive deployment of energy metering and monitoring to evaluate performance and support the tenants

The key and unique offer of the LCW is the ongoing support provided to the tenants. This occurs in two phases.

Before and during the move-in:

  • Design and fit out technical advice to ensure delivery of a highly efficient and productive workplace that aligns with the building environmental strategy
  • Move-in support to facilitate the transition to the new office

During occupation:

  • Engagement, information and education with the occupiers on the building and sustainability
  • Monthly energy summary reporting as well as detailed analysis by Carbon Trust experts
  • Energy savings and technical support to get the most out of the building

LCW building occupiers’ energy and carbon performance is monitored and assessed against the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Workplace Standard, which cover three aspects:

  • Quantitative performance: meeting industry best practice carbon emissions benchmarks and year on year performance  improvements are required
  • Qualitative criteria:Occupier operational practices are assessed against a set of broad sustainability performance indicators, alongside occupier satisfaction surveys, providing a holistic picture of the workplace’s overall environmental performance.
  • Carbon management: Implementation of a carbon management system that embeds good practice energy efficiency and carbon management in the day-to-day activities of the workplace.

Our impact

The Low Carbon Workplace Fund delivers strong environmental and financial returns, benefitting investors and occupiers alike. Our buildings are highly energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. We know this for a fact because they achieve leading EPC and BREEAM ratings, while comfortably outperforming industry benchmarks for operational efficiency:

  • GRESB 5 Stars for the LCW portfolio
  • Average EPC improvement from E to B
  • BREEAM Excellent status awarded to all buildings
  • 68% more energy efficient than CIBSE’s ECON19 office benchmark
  • 40% more energy efficient than BBP’s Real Estate Environmental Benchmark

 

Our portfolio

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Carter Lane

Located in the City of London, this is one of LCW’s newest office buildings. It was completed in June 2016 and with a GIA of 29,000 square feet it now houses five tenants.

The building was upgraded to achieve EPC B from the original E, and has received BREEAM Excellent certification.

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Mansell Court

The office building is located in Wimbledon and is one of the fund’s earliest acquisitions. Completed in December 2013, and with a GIA of 22,000 square feet it currently hosts three tenants.

The building was upgraded to achieve EPC B from the original C, and has received BREEAM Excellent certification.

Luke-street

Luke Street

Located in Shoreditch, this office building was completed in March 2016. With 29,000 square feet, it is home to Barclay’s FinTech incubator Rise.

The building was upgraded to achieve EPC B from the original D, and has received BREEAM Excellent certification.

grove-house-crop

Grove House

Located in Hammersmith, this office building is the largest in the LCW portfolio. It was completed in June 2013, has a GIA of 63,000 square feet and houses the operations of Winton: Global Investment Management.

The building was upgraded to achieve EPC B from the original E, and has received BREEAM Excellent certification.

premier-house

Premier House

Located in Hammersmith, this office building has the longest presence in the LCW portfolio, after its completion in August 2012. It has a GIA of 22,000 square feet, and it currently hosts two tenants.

The building was upgraded to achieve EPC B from the original E, and has received BREEAM Excellent certification.

summit-house

Summit House

Located in the City of London, this is the latest and most contemporary office building in the LCW portfolio. Its GIA is 57,000 square feet, and it was completed in January 2017; the major tenant is Wework.

The building was upgraded to achieve EPC B from the original E, and has received BREEAM Excellent certification.

Kew-Road

Kew Road

Located in Richmond, this office building was completed in August 2014. With a GIA of 33,000 square feet it is the headquarters of the online retailer Not On The Highstreet.

The building was upgraded to achieve EPC B from the original F, the lowest rating a building we acquired originally had, and has received BREEAM Excellent certification.

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