Sweco was appointed by Bloomberg in 2010 alongside Foster + Partners for this landmark project which serves as Bloomberg’s European headquarters. Sweco provided full building services and sustainability consultancy, including mechanical, electrical and public health engineering, fire engineering, vertical transportation and development of several bespoke sustainable design features.
Sweco is currently appointed by Bloomberg for post-occupancy evaluation and for early investigation into the performance of several innovative solutions such as vacuum drainage to continue to optimise and learn from lessons in operation.
Sweco was appointed to provide the design of both Shell and Core and Category ‘B’ services for the fit-out. This included both the North and South buildings, four levels of basement, a state of the art auditorium and multipurpose room, a medical centre, training spaces, open plan office space, retail accommodation and external public spaces.
A key objective was to bring Bloomberg’s London workforce together in an enduring building that would serve as an example for sustainability and well-being. So Sweco, together with the client, set out to create a landmark workplace to promote collaboration, communication and attract the brightest global talent.
The design had to be respectful of its location in the heart of the City of London. In its form, massing and materials, the new building needed to be a natural extension of the City that would endure and improve the surrounding public realm.
It is a true exemple of sustainable development, pushing the boundaries of sustainability, setting new standards and industry benchmarks and through meticulous research and bespoke design development, the final design incorporates four world-first innovative building technologies.
Engagement between the Bloomberg team, Foster + Partners, Sir Robert McAlpines, AKTII and Sweco all contributed to exploring a wide range of sustainable and environmental opportunities for the project.
As a result of this team collaboration, the building achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating under the BREEAM assessment method, achieving a score of 99.1%. This is the highest post-construction score ever achieved by any major office development in the UK to date.
- Occupancy-responsive ventilation system
- Breathing building system – intake through façade, exhaust through central atrium and openable roof light
- PV array at roof level
- Optimised façade design with mixed mode ventilation in future
- Bespoke chilled ceiling operating under elevated chilled water temps, maximising the operating hours of the breathing building
- Rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling and cooling tower water recycling
- Vacuum drainage
- Water savings of 25 million litres per year
Zero potable water use + vacuum drainage
Sweco proposed the use of vacuum drainage, a technology usually associated with boats and/or trains, which we recognised had the potential to significantly reduce the water demand of the building. The limited product range and the acoustics related to the suction process were identified as negatives and no UK commercial office has a vacuum drainage system installed. Sweco led the process to work with a chosen manufacturer following an expression of interest to develop a quality product, suitable for a world class HQ. The introduction of an innovative attenuation device, creation of a unique pipework and jointing specification for the system, a methodology for maintenance and the production of a large scale prototype mock-up were all managed by the Sweco team.
A vacuum drainage system is 1/6th of the water volume used within a standard dual flush system seen as the commercial standard. This reduction in water use, when coupled with the specified grey water recycling and the cooling tower water recycling enabled the Bloomberg Building to claim ‘zero potable water use’.
“25 Million Litres Of Water Saved Annually”
“Equivalent To 10 London Olympic Pools”
Cooling tower water Recycling
Cooling towers are mainly used as part of heat rejection from chillers. In such applications, heat is rejected from the water into the atmosphere, thereby using significant volumes of potable mains water. This innovation improves on this practice by rejecting heat from the chillers and CCHP plants using recycled water from the toilet basins at all levels and cyclist shower facilities, reducing the need for potable mains water by up to a third. It also significantly reduced drainage discharge to alleviate increasing flooding risk.
“Reduces potable mains water usage by 31%”
Bespoke chilled ceiling system
Sweco, in collaboration with the wider design team, helped to create a bespoke chilled ceiling system which integrated a cooling component, lighting and acoustic absorption whilst seeking to increase its cooling capacity at elevated water temperatures to enable mixed-mode openable façade operation.
The integrated ceiling panel consists of cooling pipes in a helix shape used to cool the space. The use of the helixes increases the surface area of the pipework, which increases the cooling output of the system allowing for the use of elevated chilled water temperatures, in turn reducing the risk of condensation and energy consumption whilst extending the hours of operation of the breathing building ‘mixed mode’ system. An LED mesh is used for the lighting of the spaces beneath. The close proximity between the LEDs and the cooling pipes extends the LED performance lifespan. An acoustic absorption component is situated above the panel.
Current practices use standard chilled ceiling elements operating at lower chilled water temperatures to provide cooling, while lighting and acoustic absorption are provided independently. The surface area available for the heat exchange is maximised using the helical design, resulting in an output of 75 W/m2, exceeding the capacity standard products achieve (Typically 60 W/m2). The 50% ratio between solid and void, combined with the helical shape, enhances air flow around it, allowing fresh air to be supplied via diffusers from above. The flexibility offered by elevated chilled water temperatures provides future proofing against expected climatic temperature rises and future tenant requirements.
Sweco designed a ‘Connected Building’ system which integrated and connected disparate systems (including BMS/HVAC, Access Control, CCTV, Lighting, SCADA PLC (power management), EMS, Fire Alarm, AV/Room Booking, Lifts, Natural Ventilation, Air Quality, Water Dispensing) to a Tridium based ‘Middleware’ platform.
The system provided Bloomberg with a single connected environment, managed from a ‘single pane of glass’ (SPOG). Systems were integrated utilising open standard protocols where available and APIs (application programming interface) were utilised to integrate proprietary/closed systems. During the design development Bloomberg had not set in stone fully their ambitions for a SMART building, it was therefore necessary for Sweco to plan the foundations of connected systems in a manner that promotes future SMART adaptation and development.
- Civic Trust Awards 2020 – Winner
- BREEAM Awards 2019 – Regional Winner – Western Europe
- Buildings Awards 2018 – Building Magazine Project of the Year
- RIBA Stirling Prize 2018
- RIBA National Awards 2018 – Winner
- New London Architecture (NLA) – Winner ‘Office Category’
- London Planning Awards 2018 – Winner ‘Best Mixed Use Scheme’
- BCO Best of the Best 2018 – Winner ‘Corporate Workplace’
- BREEAM Awards 2018 – Commercial Project of the Year
- BREEAM Awards 2018 – Western Europe Project of the Year
- BREEAM – ‘Outstanding’ (99.1 %) Rating
“This (score) is a nice new bar for the industry and a feather in the cap for Sweco. Bloomberg is immensely proud of the sustainability features of this building and obviously hiring you all was one of the best decisions made.”
Kathryn Mallon Formally of Bloomberg LP