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Case study: Sustainable refurbishment of our Strand office

When the XPS office at 11 Strand streamlined from two floors to one during the pandemic, it was the perfect opportunity for a makeover. With a more flexible approach to how and where people were doing their work now in place, the space needed to adapt to provide hot-desking areas and better opportunities for collaboration and relaxation. 

Image: Our new boardroom complete with carpet made from recycled fishing nets

In seeking a partner to help redesign the space, XPS was keen that sustainability should be one of the key priorities.  

We are Spaces was chosen because of its experience delivering projects which considered sustainable materials and processes alongside value for money, and its understanding of the aim to reduce CO2 emissions created by the project. 

At the design stage, careful layout planning allowed the absolute minimum number of partition moves, and those that did move had their frames and doors retained and planned back into new positions, meaning only three new doors were required, and only one had to be disposed for recycling. 

Waste and pollution are not accidents, but the consequence of decisions made at the design stage, where around 80% of environmental impacts are determined.  By changing our mindset to view waste as a design flaw and harnessing new materials and technologies, we can ensure waste and pollution are not created in the first place.

We are Spaces

Furniture and finishes were refreshed and reused or resold wherever possible. Repurposing and reselling office chairs alone is estimated to have saved up to 10,000 kg of direct CO2 emissions.

Floor tiles and carpets too were retained and repaired wherever possible, saving around 370 kg of materials going to waste. Where new carpet was required, We are Spaces partnered with Interface, whose carbon neutral carpets are made from 100% recycled materials, in this case from used fishing nets recovered from oceans, which come with a social benefit too, providing incomes to areas where there is often extreme poverty.

It was estimated that the combination of savings from chairs, carpets, retained partitions and reduced waste was around 75+ tonnes of CO2 emissions, which excludes life cycle benefits and savings from reducing the overall office space.