- RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS
The Department for Business, Information and Skills (BIS) required the refurbishment of the 7 storey Insolvency Service building in Bloomsbury. Overbury was selected to deliver both the design and build for this project in a tight period of 21 weeks, with part occupancy during the works. The client and project team had high sustainability aspirations for the building, and tasked the Overbury team with achieving a SKA Gold rating.
Overbury's in house Technical Services Manager undertook SKA training in order to ensure the client's goals were met. A monthly newsletter was issued to all the local residents, updating them on the progress of the project. The site signed up to the Considerate Constructors Scheme and was monitored against the Code of Considerate Practice, aiming to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements. The Scheme covers three main areas, the general public, the workforce and the environment.
During the design phase, decisions were made to increase the use of recycled content in the materials used. This included specialist blocks that have 93% recycled content, screed that contains crushed recycled glass instead of sharp sand and cement, and an eco-varnish used on the doors to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the building. During the works phase, a high recycling rate of 95% was achieved. Such a high percentage was attained because, during the extensive strip out works, Overbury and its strip out contractor worked to fully segregate the material being stripped out. The same process was also carried out during the fit out phase, allowing the separated waste to be easily removed and recycled. Energy efficient light fittings have been used throughout the building, sourced from the Energy Technology list. Lighting controls have also been installed, including PIRs (motion sensors) and daylight sensors. This will ensure that the ongoing energy use in the building during occupation is reduced. The entire project entailed extensive re-use of materials, such as furniture and carpet, leading to a significantly reduced volume of waste being disposed to landfill. The Overbury team also selected sanitary ware from the Water Technology List, with the aim of lowering and controlling water use.
The project team used the 'WRAP Guide to Choosing Construction Products: a guide to the recycled content of mainstream construction products' for selecting materials. Overbury worked closely with subcontractors to encourage them to source products that met the SKA requirements. For example subcontractors sourced vanity units that had a 75% recycled content being made from crushed glass. All timber used during the project, whether bought directly by Overbury or brought onto site by a subcontractor, was certified as sustainable and had full chain of custody documentation accompanying it.
"It has been exciting to deliver a SKA Gold project for the Government in this Olympic year."Michael Smith