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Environmental Award

Winner - Innovate Green Office, Leeds

Commissioning authority: Innovate Property
Principal designer: RIO Architects
Principal contractor: GMI Construction

The new Innovate Green Office achieved the highest BREEAM score ever awarded, at 87.55 per cent – a testimony to this building's green credentials.

That this was achieved for a commercial building subject to the pressures and market forces of the competitive letting market shows the commitment, skill and dedication of the team behind the project.

It also demonstrates that, if properly designed and delivered, it can be commercially viable to create a genuinely sustainable office building.

The team set out to create what it called a step-change in commercial building design and has without doubt produced a groundbreaking project which is at the forefront of sustainable development in the UK.

Throughout the design and construction process the team discarded gimmicks in favour of cost-effective solutions that deliver real benefit. The £5.5 million building uses its precast-concrete structure as an energy store and is highly insulated externally to reduce heat loss.

The Innovate Green Office is mechanically ventilated using combined heat and power, and features a novel plant-operating strategy which uses the thermal storage capacity of the concrete.

The building makes effective use of the natural topography of the site to minimise earthworks, and employs permeable paving and a natural pond to prevent off-site storm discharge.

Embedded CO2 was also reduced by careful selection of materials from local suppliers, and by using a high degree of recycled material.

Delivering such an ambitious project required a huge team effort and meant everyone from designer through to contractor playing their part. The result is a major leap forward in sustainable design and construction.


RSPB Environment and Educational Centre, Purfleet
The Savill Building, Windsor Great Park
Dalby Forest Visitor Centre, Yorkshire

The award

To recognise a project which demonstrates a particular contribution to environmental issues or in which environmental issues were a key factor in its concept and/or execution. Sponsored by Atkins.

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