The highest sustainability standards at work
Completed in 2019, 2 Redman Place is a nine-storey office building in Stratford’s International Quarter London (IQL). Located at the gateway to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, IQL is among the capital’s largest new mixed-use developments. A near neighbour is the East Bank, an emerging cultural and educational district that will bring together University College London, the V&A, Sadler’s Wells, London College of Fashion and the BBC.
From design through to construction, sustainability as measured by BREEAM (Building Research Environmental Assessment Method) was the guiding objective of this project. The client required the building to attain BREEAM Excellent at minimum; the aspiration was for the top rating of Outstanding.
Accordingly, to help drive the team towards the most sustainable solutions possible, BuroHappold was engaged as a BREEAM Accredited Professional. We also acted as the BREEAM Assessor and took a leading role on the project’s wellbeing aspects.
In meeting the very highest standards of sustainability, it was necessary to adopt innovative design and technical solutions. The building also had to be resilient in adapting to future environmental, social and technological trends – this would deliver enduring value to tenants and landlords alike.
As a commercial space, it was important that the building template maximised productivity by catering for work practices ranging from team collaboration to solo effort. Due consideration also had to be paid to supporting technology that enables staff mobility within the office and increases utilisation rates. Occupant wellbeing, too, was a priority.
In tandem with advanced functionality, 2 Redman Place had to stand as a piece of high-quality architecture – with appealing public realm – that will inspire everyone either working on the premises or just passing by.
Open floor plates, welcoming public realm and design flourishes – such as a statement double-height entrance – make 2 Redman Place an impressive, flexible and stimulating place to work. Among the first tenants to enjoy this pleasingly striking building are Cancer Research UK, the British Council – the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities – and FNZ, a global financial technology company.
Sophisticated sustainability elements include rainwater harvesting – saving the equivalent of 4.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools of drinkable water annually – and a sizeable biodiversity roof. The project also features one of London’s largest “living walls”, a 2,000m2 habitat for wildlife comprising thousands of native plants. Reduction of CO2 emissions through measures such as triple glazing and solar panels amounts to 304 tonnes each year – approximately the same amount as would be produced by running 3,000 fridges.
Recording a score of 94%, the building achieved BREEAM Outstanding certification. At the time of award, this was the second highest ever BREEAM score in the UK for a commercial building (New Construction 2014 in the UK for Post Construction certificate).
In wellbeing terms, 2 Redman Place is similarly exceptional. The air conditioning system provides 100% fresh air while floor-to-ceiling windows not only allow natural light to penetrate all sides of the building but also offer stunning, uninterrupted city views. The building has efficient heating and cooling systems that keep the temperature within office areas at a comfortable 22–24 degrees; indoor ambient noise has been measured to ensure optimal levels across the building. Showering, changing and storage facilities for 212 bikes encourage cycling to work. For the non-cyclist, public transport accessibility is excellent.
Going beyond BREEAM, the client was committed to engendering meaningful community engagement and social value. For example, the local school’s year 12 students were set the challenge of designing boxes for birds and bats to be installed on the roof. Mentored by Cancer Research UK, the children experienced the realities of the commercial creative process before four deserving winners had their sketches brought to life by the project architect.
Elsewhere, a progressive approach to the care of construction workers saw mental health becoming a mandatory part of site inductions. Onsite welfare provision for builders and tradesmen incorporated healthy, fresh canteen food and a calm rest space for breaks.
Early engagement between BuroHappold, the client and the design team established a shared dedication to maintaining a high BREEAM score throughout the project. This was kept on track via regular meetings and adherence to a sustainability implementation plan. The team also undertook detailed commissioning and handover works to ensure that everything operates as intended.
In addition to scoring far more than the mark required to reach the aspirational target of Outstanding – 85% is the threshold – 2 Redman Place earned four BREEAM Exemplary Performance credits for daylighting, use of recycled aggregates, considerate construction and adaptation to climate change.
“We are immensely proud to have achieved BREEAM’s Outstanding award for 2 Redman Place,” says Andrew Tobin, project director at IQL. “This will have a long-lasting impact not only on the surrounding environment but also on the wellbeing of those who move around the building.”
According to Jacqui Hill, project lead for Cancer Research UK, the benefits have been immediately apparent: “Even at this early stage of our time here at 2 Redman Place, our staff and visitors already appreciate the increased daylight, the escape of the green roof, improved acoustics – which provide such a calm building – and the facilities and space of the estate.”
As a modern approach to rapidly evolving workplace needs, this project showcases how BuroHappold can help clients to deliver exceedingly high levels of social, economic and environmental sustainability in a replicable way.
Services and approach
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