A Government organisation’s headquarters has scooped a prestigious national development award.
Ordnance Survey’s head office Explorer House, is one of the most sustainable buildings of its kind in the country. The base for 1 000 staff of Great Britain’s national mapping agency won the Sustainable Achievement Award at The Office Agents Society (OAS) Development Awards at a ceremony in London.
Staff moved into the newly built Explorer House in 2010, immediately cutting the organisation’s carbon footprint by 60%. Explorer House has already received a BREEAM 'excellent' rating – an accolade that applies to buildings with high green credentials.
Every aspect of sustainability has been considered in the construction of the building. The need for artificial light has reduced with large north-facing windows. The temperature inside the building is controlled by an electronic management system ,which opens and closes windows and controls heating and ventilation systems to avoid excessive energy loss and achieve perfect working conditions.
A ground source heat pump provides heat to the building, food waste is composted and even the toilets are flushed with harvested rainwater.
The Development Awards are an annual celebration of the industry’s highest achievers and so Explorer House and Kier Property, the building’s developer, were up against some stiff competition.
Greg Tumilty, Building and Property Services Manager at Ordnance Survey, said: “We are obviously delighted to be recognised, especially for the sustainable achievement awards. We worked hard to ensure that the building was as sustainable as possible for the long term. Given Ordnance Survey has been collecting data for over 220 years, we want to make sure that the long term prospects for the building and the organisation are as positive as they can be.”
Adam Vine, Associate Director at Kier Property, said: “On this project it was very important to consider the environmental issues and to take steps to maximise the opportunities to create a building which had a sustainable future and a positive impact on the local community as well as the existing workforce.”
The judges commented that Explorer House was a great example of a developer working with a local occupier for a long-term solution that addresses the social, environmental and economic inputs required for a truly sustainable solution.