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A 20-year old office block increased its net area by 57% but still saved 40,000 tonnes of carbon. How did the project team do it?
As a rule, anyone fully refurbishing a 20-year-old office building will take the opportunity to bring it bang up to date by clothing it in a brand-new skin. So it was a surprise to arrive at One Triton Square, British Land’s latest completed project, and be greeted by a building that looks very much its age. Designed by Arup Associates and completed in 1998, this building features late post-modern touches such as large areas of colourful, variegated limestone cladding, random angular shapes and a projecting glass facade.
The reason why the building looks its age is because this is a refurbishment with a difference. The team responsible for this job – British Land, Arup and Lendlease – had one goal: to make the project as low carbon as possible. Indeed, the team named themselves Team Triton after the successful British cycling outfit Team Sky whose former coach, Dave Brailsford, developed the concept of marginal gains, whereby lots of tiny improvements in multiple areas add up to a big overall advantage. One of the bigger carbon reduction gains, and something that is rarely done, was to carefully dismantle the facade, clean it, and put it back – which is one reason why the building looks its age.
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