As part the Wild West End partnership, The Crown Estate is creating a ‘green corridor’ across its holdings in Regent Street and St James’s, bringing over a hectare of new green space to London. Its 46,000 ft2 7 Air Street development, completed in October 2015, occupies prime position in a first class office, retail and leisure destination on Regent Street and is the first West End office refurbishment to be BREEAM 2011 ‘Outstanding’ certified, with a New Construction Score of 94.1%.
We undertook a Phase 1 habitat survey and protected species risk assessment/scoping survey to collect baseline ecological data, prior to assessing the site under BREEAM New Construction methodology. Our emphasis was on potential for bats and breeding birds.
In order to meet green infrastructure objectives for The Crown Estate we worked with The Green Infrastructure Consultancy to specify an extensive green roof that incorporated a varied topography to attract burrowing invertebrates, achieved by proposing the installation of small logs, log piles and sand mounds, in selected locations on the green roof.
In partnership with GIC, our assessment helped 7 Air Street to achieve ten credits for BREEAM New Construction prior to the production of site plans. We provided recommendations of potential opportunities for increasing the wildlife value of the site for birds, bats and invertebrate species.
In addition we recommended a ‘Biodiversity Champion’ should be nominated by the principal contractor; their responsibilities were to ensure that the green roof materials are protected prior to, during, and after installation and that the management plan is adhered to.
Works involved the renovation of existing buildings with the addition of 200m2 of extensive green roof, incorporating native flowering plants and grasses, and habitats for insects, birds and bats. The building has received BREEAM outstanding rating, the highest award possible from the industry body which judges best practice for sustainability in the built environment.
Dr Gavin Dunn, director of BREEAM, said the building had achieved a BREEAM score of 94% and “significantly surpasses the benchmark required to achieve an outstanding rating, which also makes it the highest scoring office building assessed at completion against UK new Construction 2011.”
The Regent Street office scheme, 7 Air Street, is now classed as the UK’s most sustainable historic building.
Images © The Crown Estate