‘World’s most environmentally friendly building’ officially opened

The Queen of England officially opened what has been declared the ‘world’s most environmentally friendly building in Manchester, England on Thursday.

The Co-operative Group's £100m new office - One Angel Square, which has at its fulcrum combined heat and power technology, received a score of 95.16 per cent from the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), an internationally recognised system of assessing buildings.

It is the highest ever eco rating for a building by the industry environmental assessment experts.

A CHP unit generates electricity from plant oil and the heat produced is used in the building. The fuel for the CHP units is grown on the Co-operatives own farmland.

The eco-friendly features of the building, which was constructed by BAM, also includes a rainwater harvesting and recycling system and 300,000 square feet of exposed concrete that acts as a thermal sponge.

Passive solar gains have been maximised through the use of large areas of glazing. Fresh air is supplied to the building through a network of underground pipes which act as earth-to-air heat exchangers, before passively ventilating the building.

The building delivers a 50 per cent reduction in energy consumption compared to the Co-operative’s current building complex and reduces carbon by 80 per cent.

The designs were tested against 2050 climate data, meaning that the design will be even more efficient as temperatures rise due to global warming.

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