We aim to make recycling as simple a process as possible for our building occupants, reducing any possible sources of ‘friction’ in the decision making process on the journey from one catch-all waste bin concept to a series of dedicated recycling bins. 

Partly we believe this starts with raising awareness amongst tenants via the facility manager.

We then facilitate the collection and storage throughout each of our buildings of mixed paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals. Separate attention is given to the collection and disposal of batteries, electronic waste and mercury-containing lamps.

Our Core & Shell fit-outs make adequate allowance for this strategy, estimating the necessary space needed and allocating dedicated recycling storage areas in the basement and, as applicable, within separate floor plats. 

At the tenant operations level, implementation of a comprehensive recycling program is then part of our tenant guidelines document.

Construction Waste Management (CWM)

For each project we require our contractor to develop a CWM a.k.a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) to establish percentage waste diversion goals upfront aiming for a minimum of 85% by volume or 90% by weight of construction waste and 90% by volume or 95% by weight of demolition waste will be sent to recycling, in a minimum of three material streams, identifying if these will be commingled or separated, where they will be taken and how they will be recycled once they get there. 

Other strategies might include the sale or donation of high value scrap materials and reuse of certain materials, as applicable. 

Reducing project waste strategies such as using industry standard sizes and prefabrication may also be appropriate in new construction projects.

Building Life Cycle

For both building and product life cycle strategies, a systems based approach is required as we look to weigh up the trade-offs between material choices, aiming always to not just do less harm but to actively regenerate the environment around us, wherever possible. 

In terms of scale and impact, building materials and products are where the rubber hits the road.

Wherever possible we reuse existing building resources. In the redevelopment of a historic (listed) building, such as 68 King William Street, we maintain the existing building structure, envelope and interior nonstructural elements to meet LEED requirements.

For new construction, a different approach is often needed. Guided by Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle principles, we use a life-cycle assessment process to quantify a reduction of minimum 10% compared with a baseline building of comparable size, function and orientation on key impact categories such as global warming potential, depletion of nonrenewable energy resources and depletion of stratospheric ozone layer. We assume a service life of at least 60 years for both the baseline building and the new build.

Product Life Cycle

Effectively the other side of the building life cycle coin, we consider the life cycle of products we deploy in our buildings with the help of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and ISO standard 14044.

LEED requires at least 20 if not 40 different such products from a minimum of five different manufacturers as a way to nurture the industry and support innovative suppliers in this space, a philosophy we support. 

As an alternative path, we aim for a combined total of all these building products used in the project that exceeds 50% if not 75% by cost of the total value of permanently installed products. 

Additionally, we look to prioritise products sourced from within 100miles of London to reduce the environmental impact of transportation to the project site. 

Over time, we expect to develop a ‘black book’ of such trusted suppliers for products that are sustainably grown, contain recycled content, are free of toxins and or are highly durable, ideally also reusable at the end of the building life cycle. Agin, the overall aim being to reduce our impact on greenhouse gases, depletion of nonrenewable energy resources and depletion of stratospheric ozone layer.

A similar philosophy applies to raw materials selection where we again aim to spread purchasing out to at least five different manufacturers with publicly released CSR reports (e.g. Global Reporting Initiative / GRI). 

In Circular Economy terms, we support both manufacturer based and third party Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as a waste management strategy.

We back FSC or PEFC certified wood as well as rapidly renewable bamboo products, low-Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emitting products, innovative bio-based materials, salvaged materials (e.g. salvaged brick, structural timber) and recycled content such as steel, gypsum board and acoustic ceiling tiles (ISO 14021-1999 compliant). 

Again, the same philosophy of buying ‘local’ within 100 miles of the project whenever possible, is applied to raw materials.

We avoid at all costs any RedList products as specified by the International Living Future Institute.

Finally, we aim to use at least 20-40 different products with material ingredient certification such as Health Product Declarations (HPDs), Cradle to Cradle certification (ideally Silver, Gold or Platinum level) or GreenScreen Benchmarks. Again, these would ideally come from at least five different manufacturers, or total at least 25% by cost of the total value of permanently installed products. 

For more on our environmental policy, see here.