Long live the office

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) had a strong vision for their new London hub, with a focus on value, diversity, agility and, above all, sustainability.

Project partners

  • Perkins+Will
  • chapmanbdsp
  • BNP Paribas Real Estate
I can see your team's commitment to sustainability and social value objectives, this puts Overbury ahead in the market.

Simon Bone, Perkins+Will

Key features

The EBRD’s mission to ‘invest in changing lives’ and build a greener and more inclusive future for all, inspired Overbury to embed this message into the very core of the project culture. This high-profile project attracted lots of attention in the marketplace by setting new industry benchmarks and is on target to achieve the lofty accreditations of BREEAM Outstanding for the fit out and WELL Building Standard Platinum rating.

The boardroom and auditorium called for major structural alterations which included a large area of concrete slab being demolished across two adjacent floors and replaced with one new intermediate concrete slab which created a near double height auditorium and extended height boardroom on the floor above.

Not a knot of wood wasted

We found many ways to eliminate waste and reduce carbon through innovation and reduced material usage. Examples of this included alternatives to traditional timber veneer which sees waste in the form of discarded knots and edges – instead we swapped out a significant quantity of this with engineered veneer which utilizes all of the off-cuts resulting in very little waste. Material studies were also carried out to reduce the extent of MDF (medium density fibreboard) which is not recyclable and was replaced where possible with a recyclable furniture grade OSB (oriented strand board), such as all of the kitchen breakout cupboard doors.

Reduced material examples included, storing all of the plasterboard off-cuts following the construction of the wall partitions, to allow these to be used at a later date in the programme for all of the acoustic and fire stopping that was required. We also set-out all of the seam layouts for the lino flooring across the entire project to create the best fit for the roll lengths and by doing so, keeping waste to an absolute minimum.

A feat of foresight and planning

Despite industry wide challenges around material availability and extended lead times, delays were averted and the project was delivered as planned. Our strategy included tracking every single piece of material on the project, highlighting any risk items and reviewing this schedule on a weekly basis. Mitigation to manage these risk items included early ordering, re-specifying alternative suppliers and/or materials and products.

Throughout the project, the bottom half of this 26-floor building was occupied and running business as usual. Disruption was avoided with a carefully developed logistics plan, capable of accommodating a construction workforce of 600-700 a day whilst considering disruption to the occupied floors with planned noisy working times and zones and utilising alternative construction methods wherever possible.

Long life, meaningful legacy

We’re proud to say that this project has created a social legacy that will live long beyond the fit out. We exceeded targets in the way of apprenticeships, workless job starts, school engagement and DE&I training. And we gave much of our time to local charities – even onboarding our supply chain partners and passing on the baton to subsequent Overbury teams in the area.

We worked with the First Love Foundation in Tower Hamlets, delivering food parcels throughout Christmas. And our support for Period Poverty, which gives underprivileged communities of women access to menstrual care, was recognised and won the team three industry awards. The campaign raised more than 55,350 donated pads for foodbanks and women’s homeless shelters, which was enough to help 615 women for six months. Free sanitary products on all sites and offices have also been adopted company wide.

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