The Wild West End initiative, a partnership between London property owners to promote ecology, is beginning to bear fruit with the launch of The Crown Estate’s latest Regent Street office scheme, 7 Air Street.
Broadcaster Jon Snow was on hand to put the finishing touches to the 46,000 sq ft building’s green roof, the first pocket of new green space to be delivered as part of the Estate’s one hectare commitment to the scheme.
The rooftop garden incorporates flowers, vegetation and grasses which will provide a natural haven for insects, birds and bats above 7 Air Street, the first listed building in the UK to be awarded a BREEAM outstanding rating for sustainability.
Chairing a debate on Building Sustainable Cities, hosted at the property, Snow said: “London’s green spaces are an important part of what makes it a great city to work, live and visit.
“Examples like 7 Air Street and Wild West End show that it’s possible to meet our needs for new infrastructure, whilst ensuring the city we develop for future generations doesn’t come at the expense of the natural world we all value so highly.”
The sustainable features of 7 Air Street include solar panels providing carbon savings of up to 12 per cent, low energy air conditioning reducing electricity consumption by 33 per cent and LED lighting using 25 per cent less energy than more typical installations.
In addition a cutting edge central energy centre saves around 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, whilst providing power to 500,000 sq ft of commercial and residential accommodation on Regent Street.
Alison Nimmo, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate (pictured with Jon Snow) said: “Some of the key challenges London faces as it seeks to consolidate its position as a leading global city are around improving air quality, reducing pollution and ensuring the natural environment continues to thrive.
“Integrating green spaces, habitats and energy efficient technologies as part of developments can play a huge role, alongside a focus on encouraging green transport and reducing car journeys.”
Discussing the building’s sustainability score of 94 per cent, BREEAM Director Dr. Gavin Dunn said it surpasses the benchmark required to gain an outstanding rating, and described it as a testament to The Crown Estate’s commitment to improving its existing building stock.
“Our huge congratulations to the team who have worked together to achieve this fantastic BREEAM score and for the delivery of a highly attractive, sustainable building, within an incredibly challenging context,” he concluded.
The architect responsible for 7 Air Street – which is part of The Crown Estate’s £1 billion Regent Street regeneration scheme – was Barr Gazettas. The project manager was Buro Four and the main contractor was Sisk.
Other property owners involved in the Wild West End partnership include Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, the Portman Estate, Shaftesbury, the Howard de Walden Estate, the GLA and London Wildlife Trust.
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