“Sustainability has been central to Bloomberg’s London build from day one. From the choice of site to the design process and the construction practices.”
Project Fire’s Zonecheck was installed into Bloomberg’s European headquarters in the heart of central London. The project, which started in 2010, is the first fully owned and designed Bloomberg office. The building includes 1.1 million square ft. of office space, as well as three new public spaces and has brought four thousand employees into one modern, collaborative and highly efficient and sustainable space.
Designed in collaboration with renowned architect Norman Foster, the building scored a record breaking 98.5% BREEAM sustainability rating, making it the most sustainable building in the UK and the most efficient office in the world.
A MODEL FOR FUTURE OFFICE DESIGN
The focus on innovation in sustainability has set it aside from other innovative builds. Specifically, the complex and efficient systems that were put into the Bloomberg building, which have set the bar for future office building design.
The clever design and build will deliver 73% saving on water consumption and 35% on energy, including associated C02 emissions. It also uses 70% less water than typical office buildings by using several water saving systems such as captured rainwater, vacuum toilets and Project fire’s Zonecheck. The compliant testing system saves on 100% water by automatically circulating water around the flow-switches, reducing the need for manual intervention and discharging water.
On Project Fire’s involvement during the project, Stuart Cain, Managing Director of Project Fire, notes “We have historically always leaned towards working with the most forward thinking and sustainable design builds because it is a natural fit for our water saving products. We are very happy to have worked on such a ground-breaking office build and to have directly contributed to the colossal 73% water saving result which helped them to achieve their record breaking BREEAM status”.
The building also boasts the first deep plan naturally ventilated system in the world. The Bloomberg building literally breathes in air and funnels it back out via the 2.5 million petals which panel the ceiling and the external fins which open the building up to fresh air just like a fish in water. The petal system is the first of its kind in the world and simultaneously cools the building while lighting it, using 40% less energy than typical office lighting.
What’s more, Bloomberg central London office generates its own power by converting gas into energy in an efficient system which reduces carbon emissions. And because Bloomberg produces its own power, it reuses any waste energy produced to heat the building in winter and to power the water tubes running throughout the building in summer, acting as an additional efficient cooling system.
In 2018, to mark the Bloomberg building’s momentous achievement, the project received the prestigious RIBA Stirling prize. On appointment of the award, RIBA President Ben Derbyshire commented that the building “has not just raised the bar for office design and city planning but has smashed the ceiling.”
“Sustainability and efficiency in fire protection is often overlooked by green building schemes so projects such as Bloomberg are crucial for knowledge sharing and giving confidence to the industry to innovate and adopt new technologies. The build is at the forefront of office design and completely raises the bar for sustainability with people focused and conscious, urban design.”
BREAKING BOUNDARIES AND HONOURING HERITAGE
The Bloomberg build isn’t just breaking boundaries in sustainability, it has also managed to find a balance between future design and protecting the site’s heritage.
The internal building is an architectural masterpiece from the entrance to the glass panelled roof. The reception is a futuristic curved vortex designed with red oak and numerous artworks integrated into its panelling. The floor to ceiling glass lifts connect every space and offer panoramic views of the city. The Pantry, the heart of the building, is a contemporary meeting space and canteen which offers interrupted views of St. Paul’s cathedral while also spiralling up to every office space via a triple helix ramp. The sculptural walkway is 1.8m wide, providing enough space to encourage people to chat and connect from floor to floor through spiralling and flowing spaces.
In fact, flexibility and collaboration is woven into the fabric of the design. All desks have a standing mode option, cabinets double as desks for impromptu meetings, while mobile pods offer larger meetings rooms and can be moved around each floor. Each team is set in a flower format, desks are dotted around a circle facing outward and are placed around a central table for team meetings and collaborative work. There are also 17 mezzanine level booths surrounded by horizontal garden walls and artwork by iconic contemporary artists. Bloomberg even has an art gallery, which is open to the public.
The aim of the building project was not only to create the most sustainable building in the world but also to push the limits of how a building interacts with the surrounding environment and city planning. As part of the project, a square was constructed for the historic neighbouring church and an entrance to Bank tube station.
During ground works, the ancient Roman temple of Mythras was discovered. Plans were subsequently drawn up to restore the temple and exhibit the 14,000 unearthed artefacts, including the first written mention of London. The museum is 7m underground and is accessible to anyone wishing to experience the rich Roman history of the site. The innovative build also houses the Bloomberg arcade which follows the history of an actual roman road. The historic road has been reimagined and is now filled with restaurants and cafes. The arcade is 55% open the public and has a small businesses scheme to encourage culinary start-ups who can open during and outside of office hours.