Grove House is a 63,000 square foot office in Hammersmith, built in 1947 and recently refurbished by Low Carbon Workplace, a partnership between sustainability experts the Carbon Trust, asset manager Columbia Threadneedle and developer Stanhope. On purchase, Grove House was outdated and inefficient, with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E. Low Carbon Workplace’s refurbishment transformed the building into a pleasant, modern, highly energy efficient workplace with an EPC rating of B and a BREEAM rating of Excellent.
Since its refurbishment, Grove House has been occupied by Winton, a global investment management company, headquartered in London. Prior to moving into the building, Winton signed the Low Carbon Workplace Charter, signalling its commitment to work collaboratively with the Carbon Trust to minimise its carbon emissions. In June 2015 Winton was awarded the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Workplace Standard, in recognition of its success in minimising emissions over its first year in Grove House.
Grove House underwent a major refurbishment, which included a full reconfiguration of the internal office space and the introduction of a rear atrium. As well as reducing the need for artificial lighting, these changes significantly improved the working environment. Radiators and traditional air conditioning systems were removed and replaced with reversible heat pumps and variable refrigerant volume systems that provide both heating and cooling. Improved building controls mean that individual sections of the office can now be heated, cooled and ventilated separately. This means that no energy is wasted heating or cooling empty areas of the office, while ensuring that each area is operating at a comfortable temperature.
As a Low Carbon Workplace occupier, Winton receives ongoing advice from the Carbon Trust, helping to minimise its carbon emissions and save money on energy bills. A key element of this support is providing regular reports on how Grove House is consuming energy. Reports are based on data gathered by a network of energy submeters and occupancy sensors that were installed during the refurbishment. They provide Winton with a clear representation of how the building is consuming energy relative to prior periods, industry benchmarks and occupancy levels. They help to identify issues and opportunities to improve performance.
Winton’s commitment to the Low Carbon Workplace ethos has made them particularly effective at optimising building performance. Its facilities team takes a strong interest in the Carbon Trust’s reports and acts quickly to resolve issues and realise opportunities. For example, soon after moving into Grove House, it became apparent that the building’s base load energy consumption was unusually high. Having highlighted the issue, the Carbon Trust worked closely with Winton’s facilities team to identify and resolve the root cause, which was an issue with the building management system.
The support we receive from the Carbon Trust has been extremely helpful. We always know how much energy we’re using and what for, and issues and opportunities are consistently identified and resolved quickly.
Richard Horner, Facilities Director
In July 2015 Winton certified to the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Workplace Standard. The Standard was developed by the Carbon Trust to provide recognition that a robust and transparent approach has been taken to measuring the carbon emissions associated with workplaces. Occupiers are required to meet a range of quantitative and qualitative criteria to certify. As part of the process, Winton conducted a travel survey, started a cycle to work
scheme and examined how it could improve its waste and recycling processes. In one year Winton saved 120,000 kWh of electricity, which equates to
nearly 60 tonnes of CO2, enough to fill 12 hot air balloons.
Certifying to the Low Carbon Workplace Standard has been a great experience. It helps us to communicate our commitment to lowering our carbon emissions and to demonstrate that our efforts have had a real impact.”
Raj Patel, Chief Operating Officer
Even in a well-designed building such as Grove House, with an engaged occupier such as Winton, energy efficiency needs to remain an ongoing focus to ensure good performance is maintained. With that in mind, Winton is already drawing up plans for the future. Since Winton falls under the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), it retained the Carbon Trust to conduct its energy audit. The audit found relatively little to improve, but where recommendations were made, Winton has been proactive in assessing which can be acted upon. Winton also has plans to alter its catering arrangements and engage its employees to reduce the waste produced and improve recycling processes. Finally, Winton plans to recertify to the Low Carbon Workplace Standard when its current certification expires in 2017.
The Low Carbon Workplace currently comprises eight buildings. Further details can be found at www.carbontrust.com/lowcarbonworkplace