20 Fenchurch Street, dubbed the ‘Walkie Talkie’, scored 80.2% on the BREEAM rating system, which helps assess the sustainability of buildings and construction.

Developed by Canary Wharf Group and Land Securities, the skyscraper was constructed using a number of sustainably sourced materials and has green energy installations in place to mitigate CO2 emissions.

Renewable installations

The 160m tall building, noticeable for its distinctive, top heavy design, employs solar PV panels on the roof which generate an estimated 27,300kWh of electricity each year.

The building also features the first hydrogen fuel cell to be installed on a commercial building in the City of London.

The hydrogen cell will produce heating, cooling and electricity, providing 300kW capacity of low-carbon electricity to reduce the buildings CO2 emissions by an estimated 270 tonnes per annum.

During construction Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group used Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber for the wood products in the building and certified sustainably sourced steel and concrete. Additionally, 96.4% of all construction waste was diverted from landfill.

Designed by architect Rafael Viñoy, the Walkie Talkie was also monitored throughout its construction process to help the site team maintain noise and air quality levels.

The building also feature’s the UK’s largest green wall, providing an area for urban plant and insect ecosystems.

Canary Wharf Contractors group sustainability manager Mark Gettings said: “Our total project approach to ‘making sustainability real’ has resulted in one of the most sustainable buildings of its type in central London.”

Green corridor

London developers have recently announced plans to promote green infrastructure in the capital to improve air quality and biodiversity.

The Crown Estate plans to create a network of green spaces between Regent Street and St James’s as part of a new ‘green corridor’.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has also spoken out about the need for more green infrastructure in the capital, saying recently: “London’s population is at an all-time high, so while we need to build new homes and improve transport infrastructure, we also need better quality green spaces.”

Other major UK building projects have also been embracing sustainability, with Brighton’s i360 tower introducing renewable and energy efficiency measures.

Matt Field

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