A landmark new development in the heart of Leeds - 11 & 12 Wellington Place, developed by MEPC - has been officially confirmed as one of the UK’s most sustainable office buildings.
The buildings, set for completion this winter, have become the first outside London and only the fourth in the UK to achieve a NABERS Design Reviewed Target Rating of Five Stars or above.
Run by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), NABERS UK is a well-established system for rating the energy efficiency of office buildings across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is fast becoming the gold standard for assessing operational efficiency across the UK.
It provides a benchmark for a building’s energy efficiency, enabling fair comparison across the industry and involves extensive modelling to mitigate the performance gap between predicted energy consumption and the energy used in practice.
The buildings will run entirely on renewable electricity, meeting the requirements of UKGBC net zero carbon operational energy standard, saving a forecasted 407 tonnes of CO2 annually. They will generate the equivalent annual electricity of more than 42 homes from 7,500 sq ft roof mounted solar panels.
A new standard for future-proof sustainable development in the UK will be set by incorporating the latest in smart building technology and offering a range of sustainable transport options, such as electric vehicle charging points, extensive cycling facilities, immediate access to the Cycle Super Highway, plus the park and ride, as well as onsite vegetable patches, beehives and fruit trees.
With their striking metallic bronze facades and living green walls, the linked buildings offer a total of 254,879 sq ft of space with BREEAM Outstanding office-rated accommodation plus a gym and leisure and retail space at lower levels.
Their impressive sustainability credentials will also include a targeted EPC A rating and a Fitwel accreditation, a certification system that positively impacts health through buildings.
Ruby Smith, partnerships account manager at BRE, said: “We congratulate Wellington Place for achieving five stars in its Independent Design Review. This is a huge step towards improving the energy performance of the buildings and acts as a prime example for the market to address the performance gap.”
Paul Pavia, commercial director at MEPC, the developer and asset manager behind Wellington Place, said: “As the latest additions to the neighbourhood, 11 & 12 Wellington Place are setting the benchmark for future-proofed, sustainable development in the UK.
“We’re incredibly proud to have the first NABERS Design for Performance Design Reviewed Target Rating of Five Stars outside London.
“Securing this rating has required a collaborative approach and a real team effort. We are particularly grateful to several of our close partners on 11 & 12 Wellington Place, including Arup, Gardiner & Theobald, TP Bennett, Mainer Associates and Wates Construction, for their expertise and hard work in helping to make it happen.
“We will continue to commit to both the future of Wellington Place and Leeds’s built environment, having recently received positive endorsement from Leeds City Council for the proposed 9 Wellington Place on account of its enhanced sustainability credentials.”
Dan Miller, project director at Wates Construction, said: “Creating more sustainable buildings is a priority for our industry yet without benchmarks like NABERS, it can be difficult to see where we are actually achieving this goal.
“Through close collaboration with the whole project team we’ve carefully approached every aspect of 11 & 12 Wellington Place looking to meet these standards and maximise efficiency. It’s been a true test of our expertise and design ingenuity and we’re incredibly proud to have received the five star rating, allowing Wellington Place to act as a flagship for others to follow.”
Craig Havenhand, project director at Arup, added: “This is an important development for 11 & 12 Wellington Place and the wider site team. The five star rating recognises the buildings have been designed with the highest level of sustainable performance in mind. Uniquely, the final rating will be based on the in-use energy consumption which ensures ongoing monitoring, validation and improvement resulting in long term energy savings and carbon reductions.
“This NABERS Design Reviewed Target Rating of Five Stars is testament to the hard work that has gone into achieving this milestone, which has required significant collaboration between all partners. However, it doesn’t stop here, and we look forward to continuing to delivery and occupation.”
Jim Boothroyd, partner at construction and property consultancy Gardiner & Theobald, said: “Gardiner & Theobald has been delighted to support MEPC in this endeavour of achieving its first NABERS Design Reviewed Target Rating of Five Stars and within our own company we are bringing this learning onto other similar projects throughout the UK.”