Willmott Dixon Interiors: Green Building/Infrastructure Project of the Year

Willmott Dixon Interiors won edie’s ‘Green Building/Infrastructure Project of the Year’ award for spearheading the transformation of 10 Brindleyplace into Birmingham's premier sustainable office space, setting a new standard for green building practices.

Willmott Dixon Interiors: Green Building/Infrastructure Project of the Year

At a Glance:
Who: Willmott Dixon Interiors
What: Green Building/Infrastructure Project of the Year
Where: Birmingham, UK
When: Completed in July 2023
Why: To transform existing buildings into sustainable spaces 

The Challenge: 

Willmott Dixon Interiors faced the challenge of transforming 10 Brindleyplace into a sustainable office space while meeting stringent net-zero and energy efficiency targets. This required overcoming regulatory changes post-Grenfell Tower fire, supply chain complications exacerbated by Brexit and Covid, and achieving high sustainability standards. 

The Solution: 

Willmott Dixon Interiors implemented a comprehensive sustainability strategy, ‘Now or Never,’ aligning with its ambition to achieve net-zero. The decision to take a back-to-the-frame approach for the £40m refurbishment, rather than demolishing the old building, reduced embodied carbon by around 60%. Smart building technology, sustainable design principles and community engagement played pivotal roles in the success of the project. 

How it Works: 

The success of the project lies in Willmott Dixon Interiors’ meticulous approach to sustainable design and technology integration. Through exacting thermal insulation, all-electric heating and cooling systems, and the implementation of renewable energy sources such as on-site solar PV, the building significantly reduces its carbon footprint. Smart building technology, including a cutting-edge 3D ‘digital twin,’ optimises energy consumption and operational efficiency, ensuring the highest standards of sustainability are met. 

Willmott Dixon Interiors has implemented a five-year habitat management plan for the building’s green wall and wildflower meadow on the roof, which includes beehives and biodiverse planting. 

For end users, the project design enhances indoor air quality, incorporates safe walking paths to public transport hubs and provides cycling facilities. 

Willmott Dixon Interiors’ environmental managers visited throughout the refurbishment, using the company’s ISO 14001-certified Environmental Management Systems to ensure a positive impact and provide monthly data reporting to the customer. 

In line with Willmott Dixon’s aim to generate zero avoidable waste by 2030, 100% of construction waste was diverted from landfill to be reused or recycled. 

The results: 

The refurbishment of 10 Brindleyplace has yielded exceptional results, surpassing Government-mandated energy efficiency targets and earning certifications such as EPC ‘A’ rating and BREEAM ‘Excellent.’ 

With a 65% reduction in energy consumption compared to similar offices, the building saves 658 tonnes of CO2 annually. Moreover, by reducing embodied carbon by 60% and incorporating features like green roofs and rainwater harvesting, the project enhances biodiversity and environmental sustainability.  

Its social impact extends beyond sustainability, providing employment opportunities and community engagement, exemplifying Willmott Dixon Interiors’ commitment to creating spaces that benefit both people and the planet. 

The Judges said: 

“Willmott Dixon Interiors’ 10 Brindleyplace is a great example of a fabric-first refurbishment approach with a 100% diversion from landfill. Aligned with net-zero objectives, the building exceeds the Government’s 2030 minimum energy efficiency targets while achieving EPC A rating.” 

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