Sustainable development is a major trend, particularly in more developed economies, as – certainly in the case of the UK – around 80% of buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built.
BNP Paribas Real Estate sustainability transformation manager Josh Spencer said that in order to upgrade these buildings to meet current and future standards a huge emphasis is needed on sustainability.
“We need to move away from how we’ve traditionally done it because that’s got us into the problems that we have currently,” he said.
BNP Paribas Real Estate’s new Paris headquarters, Métal 57, is a great example of sustainable redevelopment, Spencer said.
The building was originally constructed to house a Renault factory. Now it is a 37,000 sq m office.
“They’ve got a rooftop garden that supplies vegetables, and they’ve also got rainwater harvesting systems to be self-sufficient in how they use water to supply the building.”
The building still very much looks like a factory but the circular economy is embedded as it reuses existing building materials: the superstructure and substructure were retained, for example.
“The building was designed to have really flexible and collaborative working spaces, integrated with the local environment and the community as well.”
The project also considered the needs of the local environment and very specific, native plants were chosen and habitats were created for birds and insects.
The project also integrated with the local community, involving local artists and inviting care homes and schools to learn from the building.
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