Occupying a 3.2 acre site between the Bank of England and St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Bloomberg’s new European headquarters is due to open this autumn and will provide approximately 1.1 million sq ft of office and retail space. The site will also feature three public plazas, two of which incorporate specially commissioned works of art to further increase their appeal, as well as a dining arcade lined with independent restaurants, a brand new entrance to the Bank Underground Station, and a cultural space which intends to restore the ancient Roman Temple of Mithras to its original site. Further information on the project is provided in our previous article on the subject.

An exterior image of Bloomberg's new HQ   - Img: Bloomberg
However what truly sets this development apart is its green credentials and unprecedented sustainability, which has earned Bloomberg’s new office the highest ever design-stage sustainability rating from BREEAM, the world's leading independent sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings.

The building achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating against the BREEAM sustainability assessment method, with an impressive score of 98.5%.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. commented, “We believe that environmentally-friendly practices are as good for business as they are for the planet. From day one, we set out to push the boundaries of sustainable office design - and to create a place that excites and inspires our employees. The two missions went hand-in-hand, and I hope we've set a new standard for what an office environment can be.”

To give you an idea of the exemplary performance of the sustainable development, Bloomberg’s new office building manages to deliver a 73% saving in water consumption as well as a 35% saving in energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions, as compared to a typical office building. This is achieved primarily through the clever use of innovative power, lighting, water and ventilation systems, which have been specially designed to utilise waste products wherever possible. In fact, according to a recent press release posted to PR Newswire regarding the development, many of the solutions used within the new building are the first of their kind.

Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman for Foster + Partners, said of the development, “In some of our first discussions on the project, Mike Bloomberg and I arrived at a ‘meeting of minds’ on how the design of the new Bloomberg headquarters should incorporate the highest standards of sustainability. The project evolved from thereon into a building that is one of the most sustainable in the world. The deep plan interior spaces are naturally ventilated through a ‘breathing’ façade while a top lit atrium edged with a spiralling ramp at the heart of the building ensures a connected, healthy and creative environment.”

An interior image of Bloomberg's new HQ   - Img: Bloomberg
As detailed in the aforementioned press release, key innovation highlights of the project include the following:

Integrated Ceiling Panels – Bespoke integrated ceiling panels combine heating, cooling, lighting and acoustic functions in an innovative petal-leaf design. The system, which incorporates 500,000 LED lights, uses 40% less energy than a typical fluorescent office lighting system.

Water Conservation – Rainwater from the roof, cooling tower blow-off water, and grey water sources, like basins and showers, is captured, treated and recycled to serve vacuum flush toilets. These use net zero mains water for flushing. Overall, water conservation systems will save 25 million litres of water each year, enough to fill ten Olympic swimming pools.

Natural Ventilation – When ambient weather conditions are temperate, the building’s distinctive bronze blades can open and close, allowing the building to operate in a “breathable” natural ventilation mode. Reducing dependency on mechanical ventilation and cooling equipment significantly reduces energy consumption.

Smart Airflow – Smart CO2 sensing controls allow air to be distributed according to the approximate number of people occupying each zone of the building at any given time. The ability to dynamically adjust airflow in response to occupancy hours and patterns is expected to save 600-750 MWhr of power per annum, reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 300 metric tonnes each year.

Combined Heat & Power – An on-site Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation centre supplies heat and power to the building in a single, efficient system with reduced carbon emissions. Waste heat generated from this process is recycled for cooling and heating and, in use, is expected to save 500-750 metric tonnes of CO2 each year.

Alan Yates, Technical Director of BRE Global’s Sustainability Group, stated that, “What sets the Bloomberg building apart is its relentless focus on innovation and its holistic, integrated approach to sustainable construction and design. Projects like these are really important in giving confidence to the industry to experiment.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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