Part of The Crown Estate's £1 billion Regent Street regeneration, the recently completed 46,000 ft2 office building has set a new gold standard in the UK for sustainability in a regenerated historic building, being the first listed building in the UK to receive a BREEAM outstanding rating (2011).
The launch of the green roof marks the first pocket of new green space to be delivered by The Crown Estate as part of Wild West End, a partnership between London property owners to promote ecology.
The building features:
- An ecological roof incorporating flowers, vegetation, grasses and habitats for insects, birds and bats; this forms part of The Crown Estate's ecology masterplan, which will see it deliver a hectare of new green space across its West End portfolio
- Solar panels which provide carbon savings of up to 12 per cent
- Low energy air conditioning which uses 33 per cent less electricity than standard solutions
- LED lighting which uses 25 per cent less energy than more typical installations
- A unique central energy centre, powered by cutting edge fuel cell technology, which saves around 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year whilst providing power to 500,000 sq ft of commercial and residential accommodation on Regent Street, including the Café Royal Hotel and the 20 Air Street office building.
Chairing a panel debate on Building Sustainable Cities, Snow said: "London's green spaces are an important part of what makes it a great city to work, live and visit. Examples like 7 Air Street and Wild West End show that it's possible to meet our needs for new infrastructure, whilst ensuring the city we develop for future generations doesn't come at the expense of the natural world we all value so highly."
Crown Estate chief executive Alison Nimmo said: "Some of the key challenges London faces as it seeks to consolidate its position as a leading global city are around improving air quality, reducing pollution and ensuring the natural environment continues to thrive. Integrating green spaces, habitats and energy efficient technologies as part of developments can play a huge role, alongside a focus on encouraging green transport and reducing car journeys."
Wild West End is a partnership between property owners in London's West End to promote ecology. Property owners involved include Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, the Portman Estate, Shaftesbury, the Howard de Walden Estate, the GLA and London Wildlife Trust. The architect for 7 Air Street was Barr Gazetas. The project manager was Buro Four and the main contractor was Sisk.