I asked for a more systematic account of the environmental benefits of Brent Council's new Civic Centre. I got back an extremely impressive list of the full range of benefits. This is what I was sent:
Energy efficiency measures introduced to the building will reduce carbon emissions by 33 per cent. Total energy improvements over Building Regulations are >65
Total energy consumption is estimated to be 93.5kWh/m2 comparative to 220kWh/m2 for a conventional similar building.
Regulated energy is estimated to produce carbon emissions in the order of 13 kgCo2/m2.
Specific measures include
• Passive design, such as orientation, natural ventilation and a highly efficient building fabric, which maximises daylight at the same time as providing shade from solar penetration;
• Energy efficient measures, such as voltage optimisation, mixed mode ventilation, heat recovery (MVHR), sub metering and an intelligent Building Management System (BMS)
• Design of effective external shading on the dominantly East and West elevations reduces cooling requirements. The use of daylighting to replace artificial lighting, which also reduces the need for cooling in summer.
• Zoned lighting and movement sensors in lighting will be implemented.
• Low energy lighting solutions throughout the building.
• Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) will be provided for all heating and cooling devices.
• Low energy IT solutions through the building using the latest low energy devices.
• Low energy consuming audio visual equipment.
• Air source heat pumps absorb heat from outside air and release it inside during winter, and the converse in summer. Offer central heating solution and domestic hot water up to 80°C.
• A CCHP system using Waste fish oil will be used on site.
• Hand dryers are energy efficient models. Minimal use of paper towels within building.
• Multi-functional devices (MFD’s) will be energy efficient and use ‘colorcube’ technology which reduces toner waste.
• Low flow aerated taps or spray taps for wash basins with a flow rate of 6 l/min as opposed to standard taps, which consume about 12 litres/min of water
• All WC's will be either dual flush or have an effective flush volume of 3 Litres or less and be specified with a delayed action inlet valve to reduce water consumption.
• Urinals will be either fitted with presence detectors to control flushing or will be ultra low flush or waterless.
• Showers with a flow rate of less than 9 litres/min or less, as opposed to standard showers, which use about 14 litres/min.
• A rainwater storage tank with a volume of 75m3 for harvesting rainwater for use in flushing WC’s and for irrigation.
The following targets are required on site:
• Non-hazardous construction waste generated will be less than 9.2m3 or less than 4.7 tonnes per 100m2 of gross internal floor area
• 90% by weight or 80% by volume of non-hazardous construction waste generated by the project will be diverted from landfill
• 95% by weight or 85% by volume of non-hazardous demolition waste will be diverted from landfill
• Envac pipework installed beneath the basement slab to allow for the future connection to the wider Wembley City infrastructure.
• Organic waste, comprising food waste generated from office and catering activities and potentially any green waste generated from internal green spaces (e.g. Community Hall Winter Garden), will be composted.
• Compactor facility in basement for reducing waste volumes.
• 80% of all materials within the External Walls; Internal Walls; Roof; Upper Floor Slabs; Windows; and Floor Finishes/ Coverings (by total area), are either ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rated under The Green Guide to Specification, 2008”. At least 50% of all materials within these elements have received either an ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rating.
• The design team will aim for over 80% of materials in building and finishing elements to be responsibly sourced.
• Over 80% of the timber is FSC certified, or Chain of Custody certified.
• A green transport plan has been developed
• 150 cycle spaces for an estimated 2300 building users, and 100 cycle spaces for visitors. 17 showers for building users will be provided (8x male, 8x female and 1x disabled)
• 47 electric vehicle charging points within basement car park
• Travel information point in building foyer with information on local train, tube and bus departure times.
• Excellent local public transport links.
• Landscaped garden planted with carefully selected naturalistic, drought tolerant species
• An indoor winter garden will be provided
• 180m2 of Green roofs will be provided above the building cores
• Bat boxes and bird boxes will be provided for a range of nesting birds such as the Black Redstart.
• Planters will be provided around the site and within the building.
Daylight: The atrium and ‘drum’ area are covered with ETFE, a semi-opaque, light material which allows daylight in without the exposure that glass provides. In addition, it is 1% the weight of glass. 80% of the development has been designed to achieve a minimum daylight factor of 2-3% as a minimum.
• Comfort: Occupant control for heating and cooling systems and lighting have been specified. Automatic detection systems and daylight sensors for lighting have been specified. Finishing elements and fixtures with low volatile organic compound (VOC) content will be used throughout the development.
• Light Pollution: External night time lighting for the site has been designed to minimise the intensity of each light source in potentially obtrusive directions beyond the site boundaries.
• The Brent Civic Centre proposal was subject to a period of consultation with key stakeholders including members of the public, community representatives, interest groups and staff from March 2008 to October 2009.
• Community garden.
• The design for the Brent Civic Centre has embraced inclusiveness.