From the beginning, Kings Place was conceived as a building with excellent environmental credentials. The aim was to make a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions relative to other office buildings, whilst maintaining an excellent working environment for people in the space. Kings Place will generate half the CO2 emissions of a similar size office building – a reduction equivalent to 1,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.
This was considered achievable due to the close location to a public transport hub, reducing the numbers of car journeys, through thoughtful design, and by constructing a building with a long, useful life. A high BREEAM rating was achieved.
The use of displacement ventilation, combined with high levels of fresh air, enables the building to meet the internal environmental requirements for extended periods of the year without the need of cooling. This ‘free cooling’ is achieved by introducing large quantities (over 4 times a normal office building) of outside air through the displacement system. In effect, whenever the outside air is below 18º c the building can meet a large part of its cooling needs without resorting to refrigerant cooling.
This design not only helps the environment, it also significantly reduces running costs for the office space. Increased standards of thermal insulation will reduce heat loss through the fabric of the building, resulting in an overall demand for electricity and heating of 280 kWh/m2 per year compared to 560 kWh/ m2 per year for normal office developments.
The electrical demand on the building is reduced through the use of high-efficiency lighting and the provision of daylight controls, with all perimeter zones exposed to good daylight penetration. The use of high-efficiency motors and reduced fan power through oversized distribution systems will minimise electrical consumption.
Solar heat gain can be three to four times all the other heat gains in an office combined. At Kings Place, the triple glass wall on the south and west dramatically reduces solar gain.
A significant number of cycle spaces are provided for both office occupants and visitors.
An area of ‘green’ roof has been installed to enhance the ecology of the scheme and to encourage bird and invertebrate species. Bird and bat boxes will be introduced on the roof.
Finally, sustainable materials have been specified wherever possible.