- RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS
Overbury were asked by Guardian News and Media to carry out the fit-out of their new headquarters in King’s Place, London. It had to be undertaken in a manner that minimised carbon emissions and satisfied the newspaper group’s environmentally-conscious readership.
The implementation of Overbury’s ISO 14001 environmental management system meant that all 1,100 on-site personnel were taught about topics including waste management, energy conservation and use of FSC certified timber. It helped ensure that therewere no environmental incidentsduring the project. The fit-out was registered with Considerate Constructors Scheme, an initiative which monitors projects against criteria designed to encourage best practice for the environment, the workforce and the general public.
The work required to fit-out the new Guardian headquarters was inevitably going to produce some carbon emissions. Overbury had to come up with a plan to both minimise and measure the carbon footprint of the project down to the last tonne so that the client could assess the impact and offset accordingly. A waste recycling target of 55% was achieved and, of the 577.8 tonnes of waste generated, 321.1 tonnes were recycled.
The measurement of the carbon footprint for the fit-out works demonstrated the success of the project as a whole. In a multi-stranded operation, Overbury calculated the carbon emissions associated with deliveries to site and every site operative’s personal travel to site. All energy used was recorded (electricity, water and diesel), the embodied energy of all materials used was calculated from lists of volumes provided by all contractors. The total carbon emissions for the project were calculated at just 895 tonnes. The client will offset this by paying to remove European emissions allowances (EUAs) from the European Emissions Trading scheme.
The use of certified timber helped ensure that the wood used came from responsibly managed forests and is not from endangered species nor illegally felled. Overbury’s joinery contractors are used to this and knew documentation for every load that came to site was a condition of them winning the sub-contract. New contractors needed to be brought up to speed with the firm’s environmental aspirations.
Overbury strived to use local labour and suppliers wherever possible, and worked with Islington Council to source potential local suppliers and resources. This is sometimes difficult, as preferred suppliers are not always close-by; the raised floors had to travel from Darlington and the stone came from Italy. However, in calculating distances travelled by all suppliers the average journey was just 17 miles. Meanwhile, in tallying up miles travelled by site operatives and their transport mode, 142,425 miles out of a total of 168,014 were on public transport, bicycleor foot.
"For the fit-out we talked to three of the biggest companies in the UK. For us it was not a price-driven decision, but was all about the way they would manage the site and the materials being used. Overbury was head and shoulders above the rest."Tim Brooks
Managing Director, Guardian News and Media