Think of an eco-friendly office building and an image springs to mind of a sparkling aluminium and glass edifice, sealed, highly insulated and energy efficient. You are probably imagining solar panels or dual plumbing systems to recycle water for bathrooms. There will undoubtedly be plenty of “greener” or recycled materials and an atrium and other open areas to give a feeling of light and space. But creating the green dream comes at a high environmental cost itself, not to mention all that open space that is costly to build and maintain, but serves no purpose save aesthetics.
The conventional way of considering sustainability in a property has largely been based on a building’s energy bill, however looking at embodied carbon is a new approach that assesses CO2 emissions associated with materials and construction processes throughout the whole lifecycle of a building. This means counting the emissions that go into every part of the structure from construction to its usage and maintenance, then eventually demolishing it and getting rid of the waste. It assesses the real cost to the planet of the lifecycle of a building, which poses the question: “which buildings are good for the earth and why?”
Yes, the energy bills might be lower in a new build with their state-of-the-art systems and hefty insulation, but when you consider that cement is one of the largest emitters of CO2 in the environment* the carbon footprint of a new building doesn’t seem quite so favourable and the case for preservation stronger. In fact, according to a report by the US National Trust for Preservation in 2016, “it takes between 10 and 80 years for a new building that is 30 per cent more efficient than an average-performing existing building to overcome, through efficient operations, the negative climate change impacts related to the construction process”. Why replace large buildings every 30 years rather than maintain a building to last for centuries?
The Bedford Estates has a portfolio of beautiful Georgian properties in Bloomsbury, London. The perfect combination of period features and modern convenience, these properties have endured for 300 years and will remain for many more. There is nothing disposable or temporary and all ooze the charm and character of traditional architecture which is such an intrinsic part of our history.
The Bedford Estates Steward Simon Elmer says; “Our history is important to us but we are not constrained by it. Our modern approach to stewardship includes employing the latest technology in developing our buildings. This also means managing properties efficiently to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible while actively encouraging bio-diversity in our garden squares.”
Podium founder and Managing Director Julian Cooper adds; “Podium’s carefully chosen period properties reflect the variation in our portfolio, and genuinely provide an opportunity for eco-conscious businesses to occupy a low carbon building whilst benefitting from their charm, character and open spaces. These buildings don’t just live in the now, they are our history and will be our future.”
Single glazed windows and traditional heating systems are part of the package, but so is the knowledge that by choosing a property like this, you are making the most sustainable choice of all.
Podium has managed offices to rent in stunning period buildings in 7 prime locations across central London including Soho, Marylebone and Bloomsbury. See all our locations here.