In December 2010 Horizon House, our new National Office in Bristol city centre, welcomed its first residents. The move to Horizon House was completed in March 2011 and brought staff together from three different sites.
We worked in partnership with the construction company Westmark Development to create a building that embodied the environmental principles at the heart of our work. As a result, Horizon House has won the 2010 Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Office Award for being one of the most environmentally friendly offices in the UK.
Throughout the building process we have minimised our development carbon footprint by using sustainable building materials, methods and supply chain. Every aspect of Horizon House has been built with the environment in mind:
- We recycled more than 85 per cent of the demolished building that formerly occupied the site
- A natural ventilation and cooling system reduces the need for mechanical cooling by circulating fresh air from under the floor. This reduces our energy use.
- Adjustable external blinds (brise soleil solar shading technology) help to stop overheating
- Energy from sunlight is converted into electricity and hot water
- A ground source heat pump provides about 17 per cent of the building’s energy needs
- A rainwater harvesting system reduces mains water consumption by collecting and storing rainwater for use in toilet flushing
- There are excellent shower facilities and bike storage to encourage people to cycle and walk to work
Horizon House has already began to reduce both our environmental impact and the costs associated with running a building:
- It uses 69 per cent less mains water and approximately 37 per cent less energy than the offices it replaced.
- Based on the level of energy consumption so far, the ground source heat pump will save around £29,000 a year in energy bills.
- We are much better served by public transport than the previous sites- staff and visitors can travel by bus, train, or even water taxi. In addition, Horizon House has very limited parking facilities to further encourage staff and visitors to use public transport.
As well as all the environmental benefits, our central location makes us accessible to our customers and in a better position to engage with our local communities.