A city like London produces its fair share of carbon emissions. Transport is obviously one of the major contributors. The other one is the city’s buildings. We love it when London’s architecture manages to combine with eco-friendly sensibilities. Here are a few of our favourite examples.
At Spotless, we’re very much of the opinion that every little gesture counts. Therefore. We love what Hackney City Farm has done in creating a small space for workshops and training, and doing so out of straw. Says Barbara Jones from Straw Bale Futures, “Working with straw is unlike working with any other building material. It is simple, flexible, imprecise, and organic.” Of course, using straw (four million tonnes too much of it is produced every year) helps the environment, plus it’s a great insulator, keeping energy bills to a minimum.
It’s always impressive when an old building is embellished with eco-friendly materials and a new lease of life. One of London’s biggest success story in this vein of late is the Edwardian Enfield Town Library. The old redbrick building has now been annexed by a new glass structure, which boasts floor to ceiling window panes, built facing north in order to avoid solar gain and to provide views of the green outside. It won the BREEAM Rating of Excellence, and deserved to as well!
The PricewaterhouseCoopers building is arguably the most environmentally-friendly in the whole of London. It has a beautiful open courtyard, which lets natural light flood in through the surrounding office windows. The building also has an integrated IT system which allows individual workers to control both light and temperature in their space. Not only is that a great way of keeping energy usage down, but it probably stops a lot of arguments about what temperature the thermostat should be on, too!
Retro-fitting might seem a bit soon for the London Eye, but that’s exactly what’s happened last year, when EDF Energy spent £12.5 million on capsule upgrades. What did this mean environmentally? Apparently energy consumption was cut by a whopping 30%, while CO2 emissions were cut by 33%. Additional to this, refrigerant gasses were significantly reduced (by 128 kilograms per capsule, to be precise). Now that’s what we call impressive eco improvement!