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Palestra Building - Mayor applauds success of London's green landlords

Estates Review

The next generation of buildings need to be sustainable and play an active role in the battle against climate change; which is why the Green500 & Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) Awards exist…

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has congratulated some of the capital’s greenest commercial property owners at the first annual Green500 & BBP Awards held at Chelsea Football Club. This year’s sustainability pioneers across the property industry include British Land, Canary Wharf Group, Land Securities, Transport for London and Workspace Group amongst others. 

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I salute London’s top commercial property owners for truly grasping the nettle to become greener. Their sterling work to cut carbon and become energy efficient puts London on the front foot to emerge from the economic downturn stronger and stimulate new jobs.

London Development Agency (LDA) Group Director for Design, Development and Environment Peter Bishop said: “We need to act to mitigate the impact of climate change – which means getting real carbon savings. The Better Buildings Partnership is getting tangible results and the award winners are already showing that they can cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Peter Clarke, Chairman of the BBP, said: “These awards recognise and applaud the companies that are making great efforts to help reduce the capital’s emissions through their membership of the BBP. I hope that many more businesses will be encouraged to sign up and benefit from the knowledge and expertise the BBP has developed in providing solutions to green London’s existing building stock.

The Better Buildings Partnership was set up in 2008 by the Mayor and the London Development Agency to overcome barriers for improving London’s existing commercial building stock. Some of London’s largest commercial landlords have come together under the Partnership to create solutions for the industry to overcome these barriers. These include tools and guidance on green leases, financing sustainable retrofit and sustainable benchmarking. 

2009 Better Buildings Partnership Awards:

Case studies: Transport for London has demonstrated innovative ways to carry out sustainable retrofit in existing buildings, which not only reduce carbon significantly but pay for themselves through energy savings. The improvements that TfL made to the Palestra building after they acquired the head lease have earned them a special mention in the Building Operational Improvement category of the BBP awards. 

TfL acquired the head lease for the Palestra building in August 2006 as part of an accommodation strategy to move over 2,000 staff from other short lease occupancies to a single building in central London. A meticulous retrofitting of the Palestra building increased its BREEAM (a global environmental assessment certification for buildings) from ‘very good’ to ‘excellent’ in compliance with the TfL and Mayoral sustainability criteria for reducing CO2 emissions and running costs.

Over 72 different points were addressed by TfL to turn the Palestra building into a truly inspiring example of sustainable building retrofit. From new recycling measures ensuring less than eight percent of waste sent to landfill, to using recycled tube windows as kitchen countertops, the iconic office space functions efficiently with minimal environmental impact. Other measures include an integrated on-site roof-mounted renewable energy source with wind turbines, the UK’s largest building fuel cell as well as a large absorption chiller. 

Transport for London is leading the way in addressing climate change and driving change within its property portfolio, exemplified by its work at the Palestra building. The independent judging panel stated that “TfL is setting a standard that the private sector needs to catch up with.

© Estates Review