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Silbury House practical completion

The RO Group proudly announces that its flagship sustainability focused property in Central Milton Keynes, Silbury House, has achieved practical completion. This was celebrated at an event at Silbury House on 27 June, and attended by contributors to its pioneering success, and property professionals from the region and London.

John Tarbet, Head of Carbon Management at Planet Mark, internationally recognised carbon reduction and net zero specialists, highlighted the building's commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and health and wellbeing promotion within the built environment.

He also highlighted the fundamental importance of sustainability focused refurbishment of existing building stock, with Silbury House being an exemplar of this approach with its exceptional credentials in design, material selection, energy efficiency, water usage, waste management, and indoor environment quality; firmly establishing it as a frontrunner in modern, sustainable commercial real estate.


John Tarbet, Head of Carbon Management Services at Planet Mark, said:

"Silbury House is a testament to what can be achieved when sustainability is integrated into the core of building design and operation. By prioritising environmental impact, social responsibility, and occupant health, the property sets a new standard for commercial properties. It is a shining example of how sustainable practices can drive down carbon emissions and enhance the wellbeing of its occupants."


The RO Group has worked with Planet Mark for three years to measure and reduce its carbon footprint and retain Planet Mark Business Certification, gaining valuable insights needed into the necessary measurement journey to transition the business to net zero. These insights have acted as a catalyst for behavioural change that not only reduces carbon emissions, but also drives cost savings through lowered consumption.


Edward Rowlandson, Group Managing Director at the RO, commented:

"We are immensely proud of Silbury House and thank all those that have helped us achieve our goal of providing the most sustainable office building in Milton Keynes. This building reflects our holistic approach to sustainability, incorporating various solutions, including smart machine learning technology, renewable energy generation and a wide variety of wellbeing initiatives. We remain dedicated to environmental excellence and to improving the social and health aspects of this flagship building’s performance."


Key Features of Silbury House include:


  • Targeting BREEAM 'Outstanding' classification – only 2% of buildings in the UK have this. Achieving this classification requires an exceptional commitment to sustainability. Buildings must integrate cutting-edge technologies and design principles that significantly reduce environmental impact, surpassing regulatory standards by at least 85%.

  • 3-star Fitwel accreditation – one of a very small number of buildings to have achieved this. Silbury House is the only building in Milton Keynes with this achievement. Fitwel is the world's leading certification system committed to building health for occupiers and generated by expert analysis of over 7,000 academic research studies.

  • NABERS UK Design for Performance targeting 5.5 Stars – one of only three properties in the UK with this rating. NABERS ratings help building owners to accurately measure, understand, and communicate the environmental performance of their buildings and to identify areas for cost savings and future improvements.

  • First building in the UK on track to receive a WELL Performance Rating – a roadmap for creating and certifying spaces that advance human health and wellbeing in accordance with the WELL Building Standard, demonstrating best practices for continuous monitoring and performance across key IEQ metrics related to air quality, water quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, lighting and occupant experience.

  • EPC A rating – only 2% of non-domestic buildings in England and Wales have this rating.

  • RESET Air Standard – the only building in Milton Keyes to demonstrate this standard which requires indoor air quality data to be continuously gathered through air quality monitors that measure various parameters to improve occupant health, wellbeing and productivity.

  • Solar PV Installation: 116 solar panels on the roof underscoring a commitment to renewable energy, providing up to 20% of the building’s energy requirements.

  • Efficient Lighting and HVAC Controls: LED lighting, paired with advanced controls, and an effective HVAC system design, to reduce energy consumption and enhancing occupant comfort.

  • smart power sockets in all four Cat A+ suites.

  • Intelligent water sensor and risk management technology from Infersens tracking temperature and flow within pipes to minimise wasted water and improve environmental sustainability.

  • 8 EV charging points in the car park


Edward Rowlandson added:

"Silbury House represents an ironclad commitment to a future where sustainability is integrated into every aspect of our operations. Attaining both BREEAM 'Outstanding' and an EPC A rating, as well as the highest Fitwel accreditation, will set a new benchmark in the industry. Equally, through both NABERS and WELL we hope to ensure an ongoing focus on the highest standards of environmental and social performance in operation. This all demonstrates our holistic approach to sustainability; covering energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and a people-centric, health-focused environment for our occupants."


Attractive for ESG-Conscious Tenants

Silbury House is not just an environmentally sustainable building; it is also designed to attract tenants who prioritise their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) credentials. The building's features make it a natural choice for businesses looking to enhance their corporate social responsibility profile, in an environment where these credentials are of high importance to employees, and therefore to attracting and retaining talent.


The environmental performance credentials of Silbury House include the following. The Initial Whole Lifecycle Carbon Assessment Report for Silbury House has demonstrated that the property’s embodied carbon emissions are significantly below the initial RIBA 2030 target. In terms of operational carbon emissions, it is projected to consume 45% less energy, when compared against REEB’s good practice for existing offices – the Real Estate Environmental Benchmark (REEB) is a publicly available operational benchmark of environmental performance for commercial property in the UK. Zero waste to landfill was also achieved during the demolition and build stages.


Boosting Productivity and Employee Wellbeing

Silbury House’s design places a strong emphasis on occupant health and productivity. Features such as advanced air quality monitors, a new courtyard garden and ergonomic sustainable furniture have created a workspace that promotes employee wellbeing. Research consistently shows that such environments lead to higher productivity, lower absenteeism, and improved overall employee satisfaction. Other features include a new ground floor business lounge, modern shower facilities, secure bicycle storage, as well as eight EV charging points. The flooring has been substantially completed through the recovery and reuse of the original floor, and the furniture has also been sourced sustainably and presented in an ultra modern and attractive way.


The completion of Silbury House marks a significant milestone in sustainable development, offering a model for future projects aiming to combine environmental responsibility with economic viability and social benefits.


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