Sustainable refurbishment of a 1960s building in Winchester, UK
Like many UK municipal buildings Hampshire County Council (HCC) headquarters building Elizabeth II Court, formerly Ashburton Grove, was constructed in the 1960’s with typically associated poor environmental and aesthetic standards. For a refurbishment contract HCC targeted and achieved BREEAM 5 Excellent status. Completed in June 2009, Elizabeth II Court is now cited as an example of best practice by the Carbon Trust 6 as one of the UK’s leading low-carbon buildings, and crowned ‘Sustainable project of the Year’ at one of the UK’s top building awards. The retrofit has reduced the life-cycle carbon impact to less than half of an equivalent modern mechanically ventilated newly built office.
Removing internal walls and providing an open plan environment has reduced energy costs for light and ventilation as well as improving the working space, allowing for flexible working and thereby an increased occupancy. Improved water efficiency ensures water use is no greater despite a 70% increase in users. The increased occupancy has also allowed HCC to curtail their use of less efficient buildings elsewhere, creating further financial and environmental benefits.
Maintaining the internal concrete structure saved 50% of the embodied energy associated with building construction. High performance facades provide both a modernised exterior and enhanced insulation. A new engineered natural ventilation system along with other sustainable solutions including a staff ‘Users’ Manual’, have reduced energy costs and carbon consumption by over 50% per occupant on a like-for-like basis. HCC targeted reducing CO2 emissions matching those of new build energy efficient offices in the UK.
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