Sustainable office building in Canary Wharf to feature living green wall

Five Bank Street (second from left) will become one of the greenest office buildings in the UK Pic: Nai-Yu Chen

A 24-storey development nearing completion in Canary Wharf is set to become one of the most sustainable office buildings in the UK, and new home to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The EBRD was originally established after the fall of Berlin Wall to support former Soviet bloc countries shift to market economies. It now works in 38 economies across three continents.

The Bank will take up 365,000 square feet in Five Bank Street in 2020, moving from Exchange Square in the City of London when their lease ends. Its some 2,500 staff will occupy the top 12 floors, joining Société Générale, who will equally move 2,500 staff into the lower seven levels later this year.

BREEAM – Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is the world’s longest established method of rating and certifying sustainable buildings.

Five Bank Street, with a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating, will be home to some 2,500 staff of EBRD. The organisation has said  that “sustainability was an important element when deciding the move”.

Anthony Williams, the Bank’s head of External Communications, told Eastlondonlines: “The EBRD takes sustainability extremely seriously. It is a fundamental element in all of our work as we roll out projects across 38 economies to promote effective private sector-led economies and entrepreneurship.”

“We have a target of dedicating 40 percent of our annual investments – €9.5 billion in 2018 – to Green Economy projects by 2020, and we are well on the way to meeting that goal.”

Five Bank Street will include public access to a new promenade along the South Dock in Canary Wharf Pic: Nai-Yu Chen

Five Bank Street, developed and owned by the Canary Wharf Group, will exhibit a 170m² living green wall on its southern face and public access to a new promenade along the South Dock when construction completes later this year.

Its design includes habitat creation for birds, invertebrates, and fish at roof and dock levels, while all major procurements were done in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines on responsible sourcing.

Martin Gettings, Head of Sustainability at Canary Wharf Group plc, told Eastlondonlines: “It was clear from the start that EBRD and ourselves share very similar levels of commitment to sustainability. Indeed, this was one of the attractions of our working together.”

He added: “Long term engagement and relationship building is crucial to any commercial partnership, and sustainability considerations are absolutely a part of the ongoing dialogue we have with all of our tenants.”

Gettings said Five Bank Street is “one of the largest projects in the world to be targeting BREEAM Outstanding” and “sustainability considerations feature prominently in conversations relating to this building”.

According to Gettings, setting sustainability goals with clients is a “typical” approach taken by the Canary Wharf Group.

He said: “An appropriate level of sustainability collaboration takes place with all of our tenants, ranging from an individual member in our Level39 community, through to major occupiers in existing space or new buildings such as Five Bank Street.”

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