Co-op’s new HQ is world’s most environmentally-friendly building

The Co-operative Group's new head office in Manchester has been declared the most environmentally-friendly building in the world after receiving the highest sustainability score ever awarded.

Officially opened by the Queen today, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), an internationally acclaimed system of assessing buildings, gave One Angel Square the highest score ever awarded – 95.16%.

The accolade is a result of the building’s extensive list of environmentally friendly features, which include power generated from crops grown on the Group’s farms; heating and cooling the premises by drawing air below the basement and redistributing it at the earth’s core temperature; and a double skin façade that acts as a ‘duvet’ to insulate the offices in the winter and ventilate it in the summer.

The Co-operative Group chief executive, Euan Sutherland, said: “From the outset the Group set very high aspirations for the green credentials of the new building but for One Angel Square to be recognised as the most environmentally friendly building in the world is a truly remarkable achievement”.

Earlier today, Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, toured One Angel Square and then unveiled a plaque to mark the formal opening of the 14 storey building.

“The visit today of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh symbolises the completion of the building and one of the most significant UK construction projects in the past five years,” said Sutherland.

Commenting on the buildings achievement, BREEAM director, BRE Global, Gavin Dunn, said: “This achievement of the highest score ever under BREEAM reflects an ambitious vision and commitment from The Co-operative Group and their project team. They have created a highly sustainable, extremely low carbon space. An excellent working environment with deep green credentials.”

One Angel Square is phase one of NOMA, a major scheme to redevelop 20 acres of the northern part of Manchester city centre. The 10 year programme will create a mixed use district, incorporating office space, residential, and leisure facilities.

Leigh Stringer

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