Winner — Keppie Design

The building to the right is Scottish Natural Heritage’s Great Glen House in Inverness, and it has achieved the highest ever score for an office from BRE’s BREEAM team. However, its 84% was no fluke. Keppie Design ensured that from the moment it put pen to paper the project was going to showcase SNH’s role as a guardian of all things green. The £12m building was built from much of its demolished predecessor on the site – masonry, slate and flooring were all reused. The whole office is naturally ventilated with a concrete ceiling slab acting as a huge storage heater. It may provide accommodation for 300 staff but Great Glen House’s overall carbon rating is just 7.12kg/m2 each year. Not satisfied with this, Keppie is currently tweaking the design to force the carbon output even lower.

Runners up

Building design partnership

Many workers are fond of chilling out at the bar after a day at the office. But Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche has taken this idea a step further at its new British headquarters – it has actually installed a chilled bar. Okay, not so much a bar as a beam. A “low-energy passive chilled beam” that runs through the building.

Buro Happold

When the judges of these same awards are sitting down in, say, 100 years from now, they may well come across a scheme that claims to have used the world’s most sustainable copper roofing. And if this future entry has sourced its copper from the roof of the demolished and expanded Core at the Eden Centre, it may well be right. The Core has tracked its copper roof all the way from Utah so that it knows exactly how much carbon was emitted in transit, and it has registered this information for future owners. Very considerate.

Capita Percy Thomas

The The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Liverpool has been hailed by The Independent as “Britain’s Greenest School”. Given that it has 12 banks of photovoltaic cells and a wildflower roof inhabited by mistle thrushes it is hard to disagree. The fact that it is sited on a former rubbish dump and has built its assembly and sports hall underground so as to maximise natural earth insulation, seems to seal the deal.

SMC Corstorphine & Wright

This building is dependent on fossil fuels for support and yet has received an “excellent” rating from the BRE. How can this be? Here’s a clue: the pilings of the Eliot Park Innovation Centre are made from old North Sea oil pipes. Not content with this, SMC Corstorphine & Wright ensured that three-quarters of the building’s materials were from recycled sources

Taylor Woodrow

Something incredible has happened in Cardiff Bay in the Welsh capital. Welsh assembly members have turned green – possibly greener than any other politicians in the world. Care to debate this point and they will simply point above them to Europe’s largest wind cowl – 6m high – that proudly sits atop their new debating chamber.