The challenge

Opening this autumn, Bloomberg’s new European headquarters in the heart of the City of London is the first wholly owned and designed Bloomberg building globally. Located between the Bank of England and St Paul’s Cathedral, the Bloomberg building gained a 98.5% ‘Outstanding’ rating.

During early discussions on the project, company founder Michael Bloomberg and architect firm Foster & Partners’ founder Norman Foster deliberated on how the building should incorporate the highest standards of sustainability. Bloomberg set out to both push the boundaries of sustainable office design and to create a place that would excite and inspire its 4,000 London employees. The project evolved from that thereon into a building that is one of the most sustainable in the world.

The solution

Innovative power, lighting, water and ventilation system were designed to utilise waste products, respond to the building’s external environment and adopt its occupancy patterns. Bespoke integrated ceiling panels combine heating, cooling, lighting and acoustic functions in an innovative petal-leaf design.

Rainwater from the roof, cooling tower blow-off water, and grey water sources, such as basins and showers, is captured, treated and recycled to serve vacuum flush toilets. These use net zero mains water for flushing. When ambient weather conditions are temperate, the building’s distinctive bronze blades can open and close, allowing the building to operate in a “breathable” natural ventilation mode.

Smart CO2 sensing controls allow air to be distributed according to the approximate number of people occupying each zone of the building at any given time. An on-site Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation centre supplies heat and power in a single, efficient system with reduced carbon emissions.


In comparison to a typical office building, Bloomberg’s new office is expected to deliver a 73% saving in water consumption and 35% saving in energy usage and associated CO2 emissions. The integrated ceiling panels system, which incorporates 500,000 LED lights, uses 40% less energy than a typical fluorescent office lighting system. Overall, water conservation systems could save 25 million litres of water each year, enough to fill ten Olympic swimming pools.

Reducing dependency on mechanical ventilation and cooling equipment significantly reduces energy consumption. The ability to dynamically adjust airflow in response to occupancy hours and patterns is expected to save 600-750 MWhr of power per annum, reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 300 metric tonnes each year. Waste heat generated from the CHP process is recycled for cooling and heating and, in use, is expected to save 500-750 metric tonnes of CO2 each year.

George Ogleby

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