Key to the building’s sustainability is its triple-layer glass ‘skin’. The outer layer of glass is separated from an inner layer of double-glazing by a cavity containing blinds that
respond to the sun’s movement, keeping the office space comfortably cool throughout the working day.
The external glazing incorporates vents every seventh storey, allowing air to flow freely around the cavity. This minimises the need for artificial cooling – typically the highest single source of energy use in an office building.
While the construction process cuts waste to near zero by designing and manufacturing most parts off-site, systems have been put in place to ensure resources are managed efficiently on an ongoing basis. These include nearly 300 energy meters installed throughout the building to monitor usage, along with low-flow water fixtures and fittings.
The construction process emphasised eliminating waste at source through efficient procurement, design, manufacturing and engineering methodologies. This was principally through the application of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), where products are designed and manufactured offsite. This approach increases the quality of materials and installations, reduces waste to almost zero, and significantly decreases deliveries to site, avoiding air pollution and congestion. Evidence from environmental monitoring suggests the carbon footprint of projects constructed using a significant percentage of DfMA components is typically half that of projects built using traditional methods.
Great time and detail has been taken to ensure the design of the building complements the surrounding architecture, particularly with regard to London’s viewing corridors. Seen from the west looking towards St Paul’s Cathedral, The Leadenhall Building will appear to ‘lean away’ from the historic monument.