COP 26 host unveils 100% renewable powered, all-electric building

Image: Sheppard Robson Architects

A new office building in the Scottish port city of Glasgow will not only become the city’s largest single office building upon completion in August 2021, it will also be fully electric, 100 per cent renewable powered, and zero carbon emissions.

The development of the office building at 177 Bothwell Street is HFD Property Group’s flagship development, located at a strategic gateway to Glasgow city’s financial district on Bothwell Street and Waterloo Street.

Designed by Sheppard Robson Architects, the Bothwell Exchange is being built in two phases. The first stage, which was completed and handed over to Morgan Stanley in December 2017, was built at 122 Waterloo Street and provided 155,000 square-feet of Grade A office space.

The second stage, at 177 Bothwell Street, will provide 313,000 square-feet of Grade A office space, a large section of which has already been pre-let to Virgin Money for its new headquarters.

Importantly, however, 177 Bothwell Street will be powered by 100% renewable energy, resulting in a further 14% reduction in annual energy use. This, on top of an already extremely energy efficient development, reduces estimated consumption from 18.1 to 15.6 kWh per m2, per year.

According to the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, 177 Bothwell Street will use a combination of building design, quality specification, and intelligent technology to make the building highly energy efficient through  series of measures including the building’s facade and glazing, which maximises natural daylight whilst maintaining a high thermal performance.

“We are setting very high standards for the environmental performance and sustainability of 177 Bothwell Street,” said Stephen Lewis, managing director of HFD Property Group.

“The starting point was reducing energy demand, making the building as lean as possible in energy consumption terms, so that there are no carbon emissions that need to be offset through other means.

“We then carefully selected the right combination of technology and materials, including recycled high-performance glazing and an intelligent building management system, to ensure the building is as energy efficient as possible. Electrification is an emerging trend in property around the world, but we have taken it one step further at 177, with all power coming from renewable sources.”

177 Bothwell Street is already projected to receive an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ‘A’ rating. As such, the new changes to reduce emissions and increase renewable electricity should now see the building complete its certification with a score below eight – nearly 50% more efficient than a standard ‘A’ rated building.

Further, the development is expected to have the most efficient EPC score for a city centre office in Glasgow.

News of the changes to the development of the Bothwell Exchange were announced to coincide with the week that the United Nation’s COP26 climate change conference was supposed to be taking place in Glasgow, but which has been postponed to next year.

“This time next year, Glasgow will host the momentous COP26 summit, bringing significant focus onto how Scotland can play its role in the fight against climate change,” said Lewis.

“Construction and the built environment accounts for almost 40% of annual carbon emissions and HFD is committed to improving sustainability, with all divisions of the company working towards ambitious net-zero goals.

“Climate change is the single biggest challenge of our time, and it is incumbent on us all to make positive changes. It’s crucial for everyone involved in the property sector to start thinking about the wider impact of each development and build offices that will work for the next generation of occupiers and employees.”

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