Downing Street wins sustainable building award

March 6th, 2013 Category: Building Management

Number 10 Downing Street has won a BREEAM Environmental award for making the biggest year-on-year improvement, the Guardian has reported.

The building, which houses 152 workers in addition to being the prime minister’s residence, was named the winner of the ‘in-use special award’ by the BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). According to the highly-regarded organisation, the building has made the most year-on-year improvement among 800 buildings in the scheme around the UK.

Several developments have been made on Downing Street in an attempt to make the parliamentary house a shining example of environmentally-friendly workspaces. New boilers, recycling methods and a real-time display on the No 10 website which shows how much energy the building is using are just a few of the positive changes been made to improve the carbon footprint of the British government.

Howard Parsons, project manager at 10 Downing Street, told the Guardian: "It was important for Downing Street to have an independent and impartial assessment of the success of the environmental and sustainable initiatives undertaken, and their effectiveness in reducing energy consumption and cost.

“The assessment has mapped our progress so far and highlighted areas for future focus in our drive for continuous improvement."

BREEAM made the assessment between March 2011 and March 2012, in which time the electricity usage of the building dropped by 13.5 per cent. The renovations echo a similar refurbishment made in 1958 by Harold Macmillan, who ordered the house to be refurbished after he found dry rot throughout the building’s floorboards and doors.

Other winners of this year’s awards include Edge Lane Hospital in Liverpool, a Waitrose store in Bracknell and Newport magistrates court. The "in-use" category is to recognise building managers who have reduced "the running costs and improve the environmental performance of existing buildings".