15 December 2016 – AECOM’s new office in central London has achieved a SKA gold rating for its environmental performance and for enhancing the health and wellbeing of its employees. The workplace design for the company’s office in Aldgate Tower was developed in-house by an integrated AECOM team of designers and workplace strategists, building engineers, cost managers, IT and facilities management specialists.
The project team integrated SKA principles into the design of the fit-out from the outset. The lighting had to meet stringent standards of energy efficiency and AECOM’s lighting designers used the criteria to inform their selection of high-efficiency fittings for all the lighting and the controls systems. As well as the lighting, the building services equipment complied with the stringent SKA criteria for refrigerants, domestic hot water systems, external plant noise, server equipment and pipework insulation.
Improving air quality was a key aim of the design. Office fit-outs typically introduce a set of toxins into the internal environment through microbial contamination of the ductwork and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the furniture, fittings and even the cleaning products. AECOM’s designers selected finishes, furniture and fittings with low VOCs, avoiding contaminants such as benzene, formaldehyde and naphthalene. Combined with an extensive planting scheme, fine air filters and generous volumes of fresh air, the project is aiming for low CO2 and low VOC across all the floorplates.
All the timber used on the project was sustainably sourced and priority was given to products with higher recycled content. For example, the countertops in breakout areas are 89% recycled glass content, far higher than standard practice. Similarly, the furniture, partitions, doors and joinery products were all selected on the basis of whether they had globally recognised sustainability credentials.
The office embraces agile working, with the floor layouts providing multiple spaces for different work styles and preferences. 25% of workstations at the office have sit/stand desks. A new staircase linking four floors was installed as part of the project to improve connectivity, with large breakout areas located around the staircase providing spaces for collaboration.
Patrick Flaherty, Chief Executive – UK and Ireland, AECOM, said: “When we embarked on the design for our Aldgate Tower office we wanted to create a great place to work that would lead the industry. By achieving SKA Gold it is clear we can use our workspace to inspire clients and show them how it’s possible to fit-out office space whilst limiting impact on the environment.”
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) SKA Rating is an assessment method that focuses on promoting environmental and sustainable good practice in the fit-out and refurbishment of existing buildings. The rating helps designers and contractors assess fit-out projects against a set of sustainability good practice criteria and consists of more than a hundred measures covering energy and CO2 emissions, waste, water, materials, pollution, wellbeing and transport. Gold is the scheme’s highest rating.
The Aldgate Tower office brings together more than 1,000 AECOM employees from across the city to improve collaboration and support growth. The office is part of a new Greater London Campus, which includes Excellence Hubs at St Albans, Croydon and Wimbledon, as well as a full-service multidisciplinary office in Basingstoke.
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About AECOM AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM had revenue of approximately $17.4 billion during fiscal year 2016. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at aecom.com and @AECOM.