Sustainable fit outs are an integral part of our mission here at Overbury. Without question, the workplace of today should more sustainable and with a low carbon footprint. Yet, what does a sustainable office look like? What are the quick wins to go greener? To offer inspiration, below are five of our top sustainable fit out projects.

James Shears

Environmental and Sustainability Manager

13th Dec 2021

2 minutes read time

Deloitte: Environmentally outstanding

Key facts:
  • Location: London
  • 270,000 square feet
  • BREEAM Outstanding score of 94%
  • WELL Gold

Deloitte’s UK headquarters at 1 New Street Square is a world-leader in sustainability, the project achieved the highest ever BREEAM Outstanding score for a fit out and refurbishment project at 94% and is the largest WELL Gold rated interiors project in the world.

From work areas and breakout spaces to the details deployed in its meeting room ceilings that imitate the veins of a leaf, wellbeing and sustainable practices were employed throughout and were integral to the whole project. Materials and products on the project were carefully selected and installed to ensure the highest levels of indoor air quality and sustainability; including all timber being FSC or PEFC certified and all finished meeting the stringent BREEAM and WELL limits for VOC content and emissions.

Wellbeing is echoed throughout the workplace design by ID:SR to promote people's physical and mental wellbeing, including the building's famous indoor garden that provides a welcoming dose of biophilia, high above the London skyline.

Deloitte office fit out with natural light and biophilia

Deloitte, London

JLL: Biophilic influence

Key facts:
  • Location: Manchester
  • 14,000 square feet
  • Achieved WELL Platinum, BREEAM Excellent and SKA Gold

JLL’s Manchester fit out prioritises the wellbeing of both the people that work there and the environmental sustainability of the space. The sustainability-focused offices are bathed in natural light, while the interior is drenched in hundreds of living plants and timber finishes to embrace biophilia. The living walls in the office remove CO2 emissions from the air, improving the air quality for the office occupants.

Circularity was a core focus for the project . We worked closely with JLL to reuse existing furniture from their old workspace to reduce the environmental impact of sourcing and manufacturing new furniture. This resulted in installing striking refurbished and recycled pieces of furniture, including table tops and decorative panels made from recycled yoghurt pots. The logistics of the projects were also carefully managed to reduce the project’s overall carbon footprint. The project achieved WELL platinum, BREEAM excellent and SKA Gold certifications.

JLL office fit out with living wall and natural light

JLL, Manchester

The Kingston School of Art: Award-winning sustainability

Key facts:
  • Location: London
  • 9,500 square feet
  • BREEAM Outstanding
  • 2021 Best Public Sector Project- Post Construction BREEAM award

The Kingston School of Art project was designed and constructed with sustainability and longevity at its core, built to create an innovative and eco-conscious learning environment for young artists of the future. One of the most significant parts of the fit out project was its commitment to waste reduction. This consisted of plans to protect existing furniture and refurbish and reuse it within the printmaking rooms within the school. Bricks were carefully deconstructed so that they could be reused on site. Materials and finishes were all responsibly sourced, with all timber being FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified, all plasterboard and stud work certified to BES 6001 (Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products) as well as a focus on reusing existing materials. Timber offcuts, waste pallets, and stripped out ductwork were donated to the art college for potential use in art projects. Excess timber was used to build a new timber fence for the local Bradbury Elderly Care Centre.

Another important consideration was the project's close proximity to sensitive ecological features, including the Hogsmill River which is considered a ‘bat highway’. A biodiversity plan was drawn up outlining ecological features such as nearby trees and involved instructions to dim the site hoarding lighting to ensure it didn’t disrupt nor impact the bats in any way.

All finishes for the project were specially selected to ensure they were low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) for the staff and students who would occupy the building. In the end, the Knights Park project achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating with a final score of 86.2%. It also recieved the 2021 BREEAM award for the best Public Sector Project- Post Construction.

Kingston textile lab fit out with large windows

The Kingston School of Art, Kingston

Simmons & Simmons: Certified sustainable

Key facts:
  • Location: Bristol
  • 27,000 square feet
  • BREEAM Outstanding

The Simmons & Simmons' Bristol building is a sustainable office fit out with the certification credentials to prove it. The project achieved an impressive BREEAM Outstanding rating. Significant importance was placed on minimising its environmental footprint from the outset in several ways. There was a focus on responsible sourcing of materials, all timber was either FSC or PEFC certified, plasterboard was BES 6001 and all carpets were from suppliers who are ISO 14001 certified (Environmental Management System).

Waste was reduced wherever possible, through reuse of offcuts on site, sending packaging back to suppliers for reuse and working with trades on how we could reduce the waste they produce. We achieved a resource efficiency of 1.04 tonnes of fit out waste per 100m2. All finishes were selected for being low in VOC emissions were reduced on the project. An indoor air quality plan was implemented to ensure optimum air quality for the future occupants. It was through these series of sustainable considerations that the building achieved top-class BREEAM and LEED ratings for its construction, while our fit out also achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating.

Simmons & Simmons, Bristol

BBC: Sustainable broadcast

Key facts:
  • Location: Cardiff
  • 150,000 square feet
  • BREEAM Outstanding

Sustainability was a key theme in the landmark project for BBC Cymru, providing a new 150,000 square foot home for its 1,200 staff. Waste minimisation was an integral factor within this project and as such we achieved a resource efficiency rate of 0.48 tonnes of waste per 100m2 and a recycled rate of 94%. This was achieved through various initiatives, from working alongside subcontractors to identify ways of reducing waste, to sending packaging back to suppliers for reuse. Materials on the project were responsibly sourced, including all timber on the project being FSC or PEFC certified and all finishes being of a low VOC which aids occupant health and wellbeing.

Alongside waste minimisation, acoustic performance was also of paramount importance. The space was designed to ensure optimal acoustic performance, and the space was fitted out and tested to demonstrate that this had been achieved. The project was awarded a BREEAM Outstanding rating alongside a Considerate Constructors Scheme score of 42.

BBC, Cardiff