PwC’s Charing Cross office has achieved the highest BREEAM rating ever. But the real merit of this project hasn’t been measured

Congratulations to PwC for achieving the highest BREEAM rating ever. It achieved an as built rating of 96.31% for the refurbishment of Embankment Place, an early nineties scheme over Charing Cross Station.

What makes this achievement remarkable is that it knocked a new build off the top spot - the Co-op’s HQ in Manchester. Where the Co-op team had the luxury of an empty site and fresh start, PwC had a building dissected by a railway station and a leaky facade in one of the most congested parts of London. Yet they turned it into the greenest building in the country (according to the BRE) while it remained in occupation.

What BRE didn’t take into account was the building’s transformation from gloomy, dysfunctional oddity to bright, inspirational office. Nor were BREEAM credits awarded for ensuring all energy saving measures had a payback of less than four years. These measures will save energy and keep staff and the accountants happy. Hitting this triple bottom line is what makes this building one of the most sustainable buildings in the country.

Thomas Lane, Building group technical editor