Did you know that if cement was a country, it would be the 3rd worst emitter of CO2 after China and the US? Oh, and steel would be in 4th place. And with the built environment contributing around 40% to the UK’s carbon emissions, clearly to get serious about reducing the impact of building, we need to build less and re-use more.
We can do this by keeping existing buildings in place and refurbishing rather than demolishing them and creating new builds. This is major driver of why at TBC we are transforming the existing structure – an out of date office building – into a modern, highly sustainable workplace that is fit for the future.
TBC is designed to the highest environment standards, including targeting BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and EPC ‘A’, which would put it among the top 1% of buildings in the UK. In addition to keeping the existing structure, for example to the extent we do need to use additional concrete, we are pushing innovations like concrete that does not contain cement – the environmentally harmful component – and cement that has been separated and reclaimed from old buildings. This results in concrete with 60% to 80% less carbon. We’re constantly thinking about how to drive towards net zero carbon not only in operation, but also in construction.
Where we do add new features, it’s for good reason. We will be replacing the inefficient façade with a new, highly insulated system that is designed to maximise daylight and thermal efficiency. Heat recovery is also incorporated within the new ventilation systems, all part of reducing the building’s energy demand.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. We think that refurbishment and repurposing will become increasingly key strategies for buildings as we accelerate towards a low carbon economy.