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Low Carbon Workplace: Mansel Court

Mansel Court, a 22,000 square foot commercial office in Wimbledon, has been refurbished by the Low Carbon Workplace.

Introduction

Mansel Court is a 22,000 square foot commercial office in Wimbledon that has been refurbished by the Low Carbon Workplace, a partnership between sustainability experts the Carbon Trust, asset manager Columbia Threadneedle and developer Stanhope. The refurbishment transformed what was a tired, inefficient 1960s building into a modern, desirable and highly energy efficient workspace. The refurbishment included a major overhaul of the building fabric and the introduction of an innovative cooling solution. Occupiers of Mansel Court benefit from ongoing support from the Carbon Trust, helping them to operate the building as sustainably and efficiently as possible. Occupiers sign the Low Carbon Workplace Charter, which signals their commitment to work collaboratively with the Carbon Trust towards certification to the Low Carbon Workplace Standard. Following the refurbishment, Mansel Court was awarded an Energy Performance Certificate “B” and BREEAM “Excellent” rating. Mansel Court is at least 50% more energy efficient than typical equivalent buildings. Mansel Court won the 2015 Guardian Sustainable Business Innovation Award for the Built Environment Category.

The refurbishment

Mansel Court was built in the 1960s and consisted of a simple concrete and steel frame with brick cavity walls and minimal insulation. Windows were basic single-glazed units with metal frames. The refurbishment included a major overhaul of the building fabric, including the complete replacement of the North and South faces. This vastly improved insulation, restricted unwanted solar gain and improved airtightness while allowing controlled natural ventilation for fresh air. To complement the natural ventilation system, a low energy cooling solution was designed. The system comprises networks of cooling pipes embedded in the concrete floor decks that circulate cold water. The cold water cools the building fabric to provide a large surface to cool the office air. High efficiency lighting was installed throughout the building, along with presence and daylight detection sensors to ensure lighting only comes on when it is required. The refurbishment introduced a comprehensive system of smart energy sub-meters and occupancy sensors. These are used to gather half-hourly data on how the building is consuming energy relative to how it is being used. This data forms the basis of the ongoing support provided to occupiers.

Occupier support

What makes Mansel Court and the Low Carbon Workplace approach truly unique is the ongoing support provided to occupiers. This is essential, because it doesn’t matter how well designed a building is or how theoretically energy efficient it is; if it is used badly then efficiency will suffer. A condition of leasing Mansel Court is for the occupiers to sign the Low Carbon Workplace Charter. This signals a commitment to work collaboratively with the Carbon Trust to minimise carbon emissions. It also sets out the ongoing support that occupiers receive from the Carbon Trust. The cornerstone of the ongoing support provided by the Carbon Trust is regular performance monitoring and reporting. Granular data is gathered from smart energy sub-meters and occupancy sensors on how Mansel Court is consuming energy relative to how it is being used. Comparing energy consumption with occupancy levels is a simple but highly effective way to identify opportunities to optimise performance.

The Low Carbon Workplace Standard


Occupiers of Mansel Court are committed to working towards certification to the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Workplace Standard. The Standard provides a robust and transparent approach to measuring workplace carbon emissions. It is based on three core aspects of measurement and assessment which combine to form a holistic approach to workplace emissions assessment:

 

  • Quantitative performance: Workplace carbon emissions are quantified per unit of floor area and per person. Occupiers must either meet best practice emissions benchmarks or demonstrate year-on-year improvements.
  • Qualitative criteria: Occupiers are assessed against a set of broad sustainability performance indicators, together with occupant satisfaction. This assessment provides a holistic picture of the occupier’s overall environmental performance.
  • Carbon management: Occupiers must have implemented a carbon management system that embeds energy efficiency and carbon management in the day-to-day activities of the workplace.


Download Low Carbon Workplace: Mansel Court Case Study (PDF)

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