One Silk Street, London (BREEAM In-Use)

About the building

Linklaters LLP have resided at One Silk Street in the Barbican area of the City of London since the 1990s, following extensive refurbishment of the original 1960s building. With full responsibility for all aspects of building maintenance, Linklaters produced and implemented a wide range of energy saving and environmental procurement policies.

This is the first building in the City of London's square mile to be certified under BREEAM In-Use.

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Further information

Undertaking the assessment

Linklaters approached consultants Chapman Bathurst for assistance in pursuing a Management (Part 2) BREEAM In-Use certification.

BREEAM In-Use appealed due to its extensive and prescriptive scope. Linklaters already achieved a 40% reduction in electricity use at the building since 2001, achieved ISO 14001 accreditation in 2009 and had their carbon footprint verified to the Carbon Trust Standard.

The BREEAM In-Use Auditor provided a briefing in relation to the scheme and the processes and procedures involved in achieving certification.  Linklaters then assigned specific resources to complete the BREEAM In-Use assessment in-house. They aimed high - writing, enhancing and implementing policies to achieve a targeted Excellent rating.

Prior to the official audit of the self-assessment, Linklaters provided an opportunity to two environmental science student interns to assist with the collation of evidence and improvement of existing policy. This led to the creation of a holistic BREEAM In-Use compliance file.  Regular review meetings were arranged with the BREEAM In-Use Auditor to provide guidance on the acceptability of policies included in this compliance file.

Benefits from the process

Linklaters had a wide number of policies from waste, energy and water usage to user guides and local food procurement policies for hospitality.  The BREEAM In-Use process highlighted areas which may not have been fully implemented, holistically written and, most importantly, properly publicised within the organisation.  Although Linklaters’s first In-Use assessment has been a demanding process, it has provided many benefits including a simplified Building User Guide and the sharing of existing policies across different parts of the organisation. It has also directly influenced the induction process for new starters to the organisation.

The in-house resource applied to gathering information for the BREEAM In-Use assessment provided a fresh approach to existing procedures and assisted in improving existing policies as well as developing new ones.  This included setting up focus groups of key personnel.

The whole process was summarised to the company’s UK senior management and other stakeholders in a one hour presentation. This demonstrated full support for the implementation of BREEAM In-Use and the improvements made as a result of the assessment.  The BREEAM In-User Auditor was invited to be present at this presentation to demonstrate Linklaters’s level of commitment.

The BREEAM In-Use Audit

The BREEAM In-Use Audit resulted in a score of 71.04% achieving a 5 star Excellent rating, with scores of over 90% in Management and Water.

This reflected Linklaters’s already extensive range of policies that have been implemented for a number of years as well as the efforts to improve a number of areas in line with BREEAM In-Use.

Future plans and actions

With extensive metering, monitoring and targeting already in place, Linklaters are committed to maintaining their Excellent rating with a view to pushing for Outstanding.

Emphasis is on improving in the lower scoring areas including Pollution (67%) and Energy (44%), which is quite challenging with the current building. This is in addition to maintaining and actively implementing existing policies.

Building: One Silk Street, London EC2

Occupier: Linklaters LLP

Auditor: Chapman Bathurst

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T: +44 (0)333 321 8811

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