Kings Place takes BREEAM in-use to award-winning levels

An iconic mixed-use building on London’s Regent’s Canal, Kings Place has won the in-use category at the 2017 BREEAM Awards, testament to the 95% outstanding rating, the highest BREEAM operational rating for property management ever accomplished in the UK.

Developed by Peter Millican and designed by Dixon Jones in 2008, the 31,000m2 mixed-use property is managed by Savills and owned by WestInvest InterSelect, a real estate investment fund managed by Deka Immobilien GmbH. Following the ISO 14001 accreditation achieved in 2015, it was recognised that BREEAM In-Use (BIU) could be used as a framework to implement new improvements into the building’s operation. BIU was also applied to highlight potential benefits to building users.

In the early stages of this project, based on a preliminary assessment, it was estimated that Kings Place would achieve a BREEAM In-Use score of 63% for the Part 1 Asset Performance and 59% for the Part 2 Property Management. Therefore, the main challenge for the building management and the BREEAM assessor was to determine the actual potential for the building and reach it in an efficient, cost-effective way.

BIU has enabled the building operators and management team to achieve both a rounded, yet detailed, understanding of how the management of Kings Place compares against sustainability best-practice.

Operational sustainability

Project manager Savills recognises BREEAM In-Use as a highly effective tool in benchmarking the operational sustainability performance of existing buildings. The management strategy is focused on delivering a high-quality customer experience.

In preparation for this, the building management team commissioned technical assessments including ecology surveys and tests for air quality, lighting and acoustic levels. A night time light pollution survey was also carried out to better understand how the building performed in this area. All the survey and test findings were incorporated into the asset sustainability plan, and a number of immediate improvements were implemented, including:

  • Lighting upgrades to LEDs in common areas and review of the building lighting schedule (30 MWh of electricity savings per year).
  • Replacement of taps in toilets by low flow sensor taps (12% reduction of water consumption for toilets).
  • Implementation of new policies to maintain and improve the ecological value of the asset and local community (including the Regents Canal), and to also minimise the use of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC) emitting substances and reducing the exposure from chemicals and dusts released by works to our occupants.
  • Developed a biodiversity plan and upgraded the green roof area to include the planting of flora which is beneficial to pollinators and installed bat and bird boxes around the roof area to provide a habitat.
  • Installation of new CO2, CO and NOx sensors in relevant areas of the building to monitor and improve the indoor air quality, with an optimised control of plant operations to find the right balance between energy savings and an excellent health & wellbeing performance.
  • Introduced new key performance indicators to improve the close monitoring of environmental, economic and social performance.
  • Introduction of internal planting, in order to absorb indoor pollutants and improve the air quality.

All of the BIU areas were covered and the improvements enabled the increase in the scores of all the environmental sections. The scores for the Land Use & Ecology and Health & Wellbeing categories for the Part 2 have significantly improved as they have respectively evolved from 0% to 100% and 54.05% to 91.89%.

The scores for all of the other sections have also increased proving actual progress and improvement of environmental performances. Notably, six different categories reached 100% on both parts of the BIU assessment as a result of this approach.

Facilities management

In addition, the project has had valued input from soft and hard facilities management contractors to address sustainability issues and challenge their own service performance. This has entailed working with both the cleaning contractor to eliminate the use of harmful cleaning chemicals within the building and working with the M&E contractor to undertake a full review of energy saving opportunities within the building.

In addition, the introduction of recycled consumables for WC areas has also reduced the number of reported blockages throughout the building. By challenging the window cleaning service to create an eco-friendly window cleaning product resulted in windows being clean for longer.

BREEAM In-Use enabled Savills to refine the building’s operational management beyond what could be achieved through its self-guided environmental management system. It enabled them to identify and act on areas of sustainability performance that had not previously been considered, and delivered significant value in enhancing and protecting occupier satisfaction.

Commenting on the outstanding rating, Alan Page, Sustainability Consultant at Savills said:

“Savills recognises BREEAM In-Use as a highly effective tool in benchmarking operational sustainability performance of buildings and is deploying certification across other client real estate portfolios to enhance asset value.”