Grand façades, sleek furnishings, carefully curated art pieces… these are just some of the things that make commercial buildings more pronounced. But is there anything more appealing than a sustainable design that’s both energy-efficient and future-ready?
To continue thriving as a society, it is necessary for businesses to recognise the importance of achieving a balance between things like recycled construction materials, incorporation of renewable energy sources, and energy efficiency in commercial construction.
Because from energy usage to water and waste management, the savings that sustainable elements provide us with far outweigh the cost of implementing them in the long run.
Let’s take a look at some buildings across the UK whose builders and investors understood the importance of sustainability in commercial buildings and made remarkable landmarks for us to admire and adore.
The Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia
The Enterprise Centre is the greenest building in the UK, designed by Architype. This eco-friendly building is on a mission to preserve our environment and reduce its carbon footprint while remaining an attractive and aesthetically pleasing commercial centre within the University of East Anglia.
A truly inspiring building, The Enterprise Centre has been built with the rationale of “providing live and historical data of the performance of renewable materials in a format that is industry standard.”
In Architype’s own words, this is the first international building to offer Passivhaus performance alongside renewable materials. By definition, Passivhaus refers to any building that is energy-efficient and is designed in such a way that it is able to maintain a constant temperature.
The Enterprise Centre is a certified sustainable building and has been rated as “Outstanding” by BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) – the highest rating in the system.
While it is mostly shiny and new throughout, inside you’ll find a building retrofitted with ecologically friendly features, resulting in a space that’s local and sustainable.
For instance, the building has been designed to last one hundred years but all the elements inside have been kept exposed so that they can be updated with time. Even the concrete used in the structure has a low carbon footprint as it saves about 62% in emissions. The façade, developed by John Innes, contains local straw applied by local thatchers.
With a roof-mounted BauderSOLAR PV and a focus on energy conservation, The Enterprise Centre is indeed a dream come true for a society working towards a sustainable future.
The Leadenhall Building, London
The Leadenhall Building, otherwise known as the ‘Cheesegrater,’ was designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and has become a popular landmark in the UK capital due to its eccentric design and views over St Paul’s Cathedral.
It’s distinctive tapering shape, which resembles that of a popular kitchen utensil, is where the nickname comes from. This unique design is topped with a magnificent glass façade, giving it a premium, state-of-the-art appearance.
In addition, the office floors are accessorised with Venetian curtains, which are fitted in the cavity of the double-layer glass façade on the east, south and west sides of the building to prevent overheating during summer. This ensures the use of air conditioning inside the building is minimised, making the Leadenhall Building as energy efficient as possible.
Previously known as the Triton Court building, the design of Alphabeta has been completely revamped by Studio RHE to incorporate office perks for bike commuters in an effort to encourage more people to use this planet-friendly mode of transport.
Alphabeta is London’s first cycle-in office, which connects the street outside to a bicycle parking lot inside with the help of a ramp, and enough capacity to accommodate 200+ bikes. Since cycling to work is often a soggy affair in the UK, the Alphabeta building is also equipped with changing rooms and lockers so that employees can enter their workplace feeling fresh.
The best part about this unique feature is that the builders used the existing three buildings, constructed between 1910 and 1930, and revised their design rather than building a new ramp space from scratch.
Thanks to the sustainable measures undertaken by the builders, Alphabeta has won the 2016 British Council for Offices (BCO) Awards for Refurbished/Recycled Workspace, the 2016 Office Agents Society’s City Development of the Year award, and has been nominated for the 2016 New London Architecture (NLA) Awards for Conservation & Retrofit.
Our wildcard for the day, Highclere Castle, otherwise known as ‘the real Downton Abbey’, is situated just ten minutes from See Brilliance HQ. This beautiful castle was the setting for the famous time warp show and has been home to the Carnarvon family since its renovation in the 19th century.
An outstanding country home and commercial property, Highclere Castle boasts of a Jacobethan-style architecture crafted by architect Charles Barry, with a park designed by Capability Brown. It was built in the Italianate style using Bath stone from quarries about sixty miles west of Highclere.
Bath stone is a local name for the oolitic limestone that has been quarried from the surrounding regions of Combe Down and Somerset for centuries. It was considered an ideal building stone for that time as it easily splits into regular blocks, is soft enough to be easily carved, and its porous texture allows water to drain away easily.
One of the most sustainable natural stones, Bath stone is extremely robust which is what gives Highclere Castle that timeless charm as well as its durable stone façade that many of us have come to love through the TV show.
Its soft honey colour also doesn’t demand constant maintenance or clean-up as the dust and debris typically blend into the fabric of the façade quite easily.
Finally, a great thing about Lord and Lady Carnarvon is that they pay special attention to sustainability when it comes to the production of their line of merchandise. Everything from their horticultural activities to the manufacturing of their signature gin is completed through organic means and responsible choices – making the castle even more sustainably relevant in our modern world.
The making of a commercial landmark in your area
All these buildings are treated as landmarks because of their extraordinary features and captivating façades. If you want your commercial building to be unforgettable, See Brilliance can help you clean, restore, and protect it to make it the talk of the town. Let’s talk!
See Brilliance specialises in restorative commercial cleaning of metal, glass and stone. We provide commercial façade restoration, stone façade restoration, glass façade restoration, TORC Cleaning, DOFF Steam Cleaning, graffiti removal, and much more, all across the UK.
If you’d like to get in touch today, call our team directly on 01635 230 888 or email [email protected].