At the Ecobuild show in London today, the 10-12 Downing Street complex which houses 152 workers, state rooms and includes the home of the British Prime Minister, was one of 17 international buildings to receive a BREEAM Award.

Following the efforts to improve the sustainability of the building, No 10 received the BRE Environmental Assessment Method In-Use Special Award for making the most improvement year-on-year under the In-Use scheme.

The refurbishment programme that has seen the 300-year-old building’s energy certificate rating drop from E to D since 2009, is the result of various improvements which include the addition of an underground rainwater harvesting tank, new boilers, motion detecting low-energy lighting, efficient insulation and even using heat from IT equipment to heat the water.

BREEAM assessed the sustainability of Downing Street between March 2011 and March 2012, recognising a 13.5% decrease in electricity usage compared with the year before. “We believe that one of the reasons for this continuing commitment to making buildings more sustainable,” says Richard Hardy, Managing Director of BRE Global, “is the growing evidence that the greater efficiency and quality associated with sustainability is also helping to make such buildings more commercially successful.”

Other buildings to receive a one of BREEAM’s 2013 awards include the Carlton Fire Station in Nottingham, Newport Magistrates Court, and Le Hive in Paris.

The aim to improve the energy efficiency of homes across the UK is being encouraged by the Government with their new Green Deal incentive scheme which was launched in January. For more information on the Green Deal please click here.

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