Greengage were commissioned by Orchard Street to conduct a material selection analysis for the internal design of the fit-out areas for 8 Old Jewry and St George’s House. This was conducted from an embodied/whole life carbon and a wider sustainability perspective, with the aim of reducing the amount of carbon as well as the overall environmental impact.
8 Old Jewry is an office building in Central London undergoing a CAT A refurbishment across the 4th floor office space, light refurbishment of the ground floor reception area and the installation of shower and cycle facilities within the basement.
St George’s House in Wimbledon is also an office building, where the 3rd floor office space and reception are being refurbished alongside the installation of new shower and locker facilities.
The material selection review focused on the Cradle to Gate scope (Product stages A1-A3) of the selected materials, the raw material supply, transport and manufacturing. These product stages were selected within the analysis, as information is readily available for these stages and they typically constitute the majority of upfront embodied carbon.
The materials selected were compared against the Bath Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) benchmarks to ascertain their relative performance. The Bath ICE provides the most comprehensive and reliable source for benchmarks relating to the embodied carbon of a wide variety of materials.
The materials selected were also qualitatively assessed against their whole life performance, relating to the:
- Embodied carbon and environmental impact during sourcing & manufacturing;
- Durability and maintenance during the in-use stage; and
- Recoverability and recyclability of the materials at end of life.
Within this review, there were a number of unavoidable limitations in gathering the findings which inhibited the scope of the analysis, including a limited level of available environmental data for procured products, in particular the lack of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). This resulted in the omission of some products which did not have EPD information. Furthermore, Aesthetic impact as well as safety and durability concerns of alternative, more sustainable, products and materials have prevented some from being applied.
The analysis piece is the first step in understanding and reducing the embodied carbon and wider environmental impact of the fit-out procedure. The analysis for both 8 Old Jewry & St George’s House highlighted a number of materials recommendations that have resulted in significant carbon savings over the original selections (up to 25%).
As a result of the analysis and the findings, the following recommendations were provided which would facilitate the process as well as increasing the scope of impact in future:
- Development of a materiality checklist to guide the fit-out teams in the procurement of materials and the selection of products from sustainable manufacturers;
- Develop a series of aspirational embodied carbon benchmarks for differing levels of developments to target; and
- Develop a strategy for maintenance and end of life of materials to minimise the impact of strip-out works.