Savills Rolls Out BREEAM In-Use After Results at 5 Aldermanbury Square


In 2014, Savills completed its first BREEAM In-Use certification at 5 Aldermanbury Square, for property owner Deka Immobilien. The building achieved BREEAM Very Good for asset performance and Good for building management. Building on this experience, Savills is now completing BREEAM In-Use assessments in 13 additional buildings. By undergoing third-party verified assessments of sustainability management and performance in the buildings it manages, Savills is emphasising its commitment to best practice in this area.






Savills Commercial Property Management team manages over 2,600 commercial properties throughout Europe on behalf of clients, taking a considered and structured approach to managing environmental impacts.

5 Aldermanbury Square, London EC2, is a purpose-built, multi-storey office building with two ancillary retail units. Completed in 2007, the 25,662 m2 building is owned by Deka Immobilien Europa, which aims to present its London properties as trophy assets that achieve accreditations to emphasise the company’s commitment to sustainability.

5 Aldermanbury Square did not previously have any internationally recognised sustainability rating. During meetings between Deka Immobilien and Savills, it was agreed that the best way to validate the sustainability credentials of the building would be through BREEAM In-Use, which is used internationally. BREEAM In-Use evaluates asset performance, building management and occupier management. More here.


5 Aldermanbury Square is the first building where Savills completed BREEAM In-Use certification. The team appointed consultant RPS Health, Safety and Environment as the BREEAM assessor, alongside support from Savills’ Sustainability Team.

The BREEAM assessor went on a walk around at 5 Aldermanbury Square to view equipment and meet with Savills’ Building Manager, Building Engineer and Regional Facilities Management (FM) Manager, as well as other members of the site team, such as cleaning staff. The assessor uploaded question responses to an online spreadsheet, where the site team and Regional FM Manager also uploaded evidence. All information was then submitted to the BRE team, who conducted quality assurance. After the final queries had been addressed, BRE rated the building and issued the certificate.

Initiatives assessed through BREEAM at 5 Aldermanbury Square included:

  • Management: Building user guide for occupiers, working group for environmental issues, energy notices in reception and budgets for efficiency initiatives. Informed by the assessment, Savills implemented an ISO14001 certified Environment Management System.
  • Health and wellbeing: Fresh air rates meet best practice guidance, natural light across all floors depending on fit-outs, restaurant and kitchen facilities; building users can request changes to temperature and air supply, and manually control shading on all windows. Through the assessment process, information on low-solvent and water-based products and other guidance was added to the occupier fit-out guide.
  • Energy: Following the assessment, Savills completed a full energy audit to identify further initiatives to improve efficiency, cut costs and potentially improve future BREEAM ratings.
  • Transport: Well-lit, secure, cycle racks for staff, changing and showering facilities, location within 500 metres of local transport, varied local amenities and features to protect the building from pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
  • Water: 6/4 litre dual flush on all toilets, motion activated flush on urinals, and aerated taps.
  • Materials: Robust policies covering energy, water, waste, pollution, land use, responsible sourcing and health and safety, as well as regular condition surveys and adaptable floor plates.
  • Waste: Strong waste strategy and provision for recycling, allowing space for more than four waste streams.
  • Pollution: Sustainable drainage system, most outdoor lights off overnight except for security light, complaints procedure for noise, odour and light, plus regular duct and air handling leakage tests.

Financials and benefits


  • £199 for membership of BRE International.
  • £500 for BREEAM In-Use assessment, valid for up to three years if the BREEAM spreadsheet is reissued and recertified each year.
  • Up to £3,000 for additional consultancy support where needed.
  • £150 for annual recertification, including BRE fees and typical charges from BREEAM assessors, or £850 where the score changes by more than 5%.


  • Enhancing the marketability of 5 Aldermanbury Square – according to the World Green Building Council, buildings with BREEAM certification reported rental rate increases of 19.7% globally in 2013, versus conventional unrated office buildings.
  • Delivering an internationally recognised standard and benchmark for sustainability at 5 Aldermanbury Square, supporting Deka Immobilien’s aim to present its properties as prime assets with sustainability accreditations, aligning with the interests of investors and occupiers, and getting ahead of regulatory requirements.
  • Rekindling focus on sustainability, expanding the site team’s knowledge of plant and lighting, and raising awareness of good and bad practices, leading to an energy audit that identified new efficiency initiatives for future service charge budgets, with overall payback within two years and forecast annual savings of £58,300 on occupiers’ energy bills.
  • Fostering better collaboration on sustainability with existing occupiers, who provided input into the occupier section of the assessment and were engaged through the ISO 14001 certification process and energy audit. In addition, the team has improved the fairness and transparency of energy consumption apportionment for billing.
  • Working with new occupiers on sustainability during fit-out, with one occupier saving £13,280 annually by   installing LED lighting, with 51% less consumption than a similar area using traditional lighting.

Challenges & Achievements



How to gather the necessary evidence?


The Building Manager at 5 Aldermanbury Square noted that it can be time consuming to collect and collate evidence, which can particularly be a burden during busy periods of normal day-to-day management. Much of the evidence at 5 Aldermanbury Square was sourced from the site’s utilities records and operation and maintenance manual (O&M manual). Information for the energy section of the questionnaire, which requires the percentage split of the different lighting types, was sourced using the lighting specification and calculations based on the number of fittings. The Building Manager created ringed files for each discipline.



How to maximise BREEAM credits?


Whilst BREEAM In-Use provides a consistent, recognised, international standard, it can sometimes be prescriptive, and so initiatives that deliver strong sustainability results may not achieve full credits. For instance, whilst there were robust environmental policies in place at 5 Aldermanbury Square, to achieve the maximum number of credits, further procedures related to ISO 14001 accreditation were required. Since the assessment, Savills has now implemented an ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System (EMS), which was completed in April 2015.

Find out more

Lizzie Jones

Sustainability Manager


“Savills believe that genuine progress can be made through a targeted programme of incremental improvements within each managed property’s operations and activities. The BREEAM In-Use assessment at 5 Aldermanbury Square helped support this program, and provided ourselves and our client with a consistent, recognised, international standard, which we could benchmark against.”

Lizzie Jones, Sustainability Manager at Savills (UK) Ltd