BREEAM Excellent for Legal & General's Refurbishment of 6 Agar Street


Legal & General Real Asset's major refurbishment project at 6 Agar Street achieved a BREEAM Excellent sustainability rating. Sustainability features are set to reduce absolute CO2 emissions by 60% compared to the existing building and water use by 39% per person.

60% lower absolute co2 emissions

222 tonnes co2 saved per year

39% less water use per person


Legal & General Real Assets is one of the largest institutional property fund managers in the UK. 

At 6 Agar Street in Covent Garden, central London, the company is carrying out a major refurbishment project. The original structure and façades were retained for the building, originally completed in 1985. The scheme includes adding a fifth floor and partially infilling a light well to increase floor space to 5,300 sq m from 4,550 sq m. Additional terraces were also created on three floors, as well as green roof space.

The office space is situated above a gym and a restaurant, which continued trading throughout the refurbishment. Once completed, the offices are designed to be accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The leases for future occupiers contain green  clauses and the management documents include a comprehensive waste management strategy.


Energy Efficiency

  • Energy efficient air source heat pumps specified at an early stage of design as part of a VRF (variable refrigerant flow) air conditioning system. This matches the flow rate of refrigerant to the required heating or cooling loads, thereby saving energy and providing more accurate control than the previous VAV (variable air volume) system
  • Energy efficient lifts, with a standby mode that automatically switches off lighting and ventilation when the lift is not being used 
  • Energy efficient lighting system with motion sensors and daylight dimmers
  • Full energy metering strategy, with two half-hourly meters installed on each floor to allow for future flexibility and two lettings per floor, as well as separate meters for major plant, such as lifts and air handling units
  • High-performance glazing and building fabric insulation from sustainable sources
  • Dynamic simulation modeling to calculate CO2 emissions for the existing and proposed buildings.

Water efficiency

  • Low water use fittings, including low flow taps and sensor-activated urinal flushing
  • Building management system controls that activate and deactivate water supply, including hot water, according to occupancy
  • Water sub-metering and comprehensive leak detection.

Green travel

  • Car park spaces converted into 60 bicycle spaces
  • Male and female shower facilities, with 60 lockers


  • 95% of strip out waste diverted from landfill, exceeding the 75% target
  • On track to meet the target to generate no more than 12.9m³ of non-hazardous construction waste per 100m² of floor area
  • Materials from sustainable sources, including all FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified timber, as well as Green Guide rated insulation, steel, roof slates, stone, blockwork, plasterboard, aluminium linings and aluminium composite panels.


Forecast savings

  • 60% lower absolute CO2 emissions, compared to the existing building, saving 222 tonnes each year and cutting energy costs
  • 39% less water use per person, from 882 litres per person to 541 litres, through water saving devices.

Other benefits

  • Better working environment, making the space more attractive to potential occupiers
  • 95% of waste diverted from landfill during strip out
  • 460 sq ft of net lettable space gained through use of air source heat pumps, in addition to lettable space gained by adding a fifth floor and partially infilling a light well.


  • £61,000 of design changes raised the building’s BREEAM rating to Excellent (72.5%), from Very Good (61.8%).

Investment included

  • Seasonal commissioning engineer to optimise building management settings post-occupancy
  • Water leak detection
  • Energy metering
  • Thermal zoning.

Challenges & Achievements




How to justify additional expenditure?


Additional expenditure enabled Legal & General Real Assets to achieve its key aim of creating sustainable, grade A office space with an excellent working environment.


For instance, investment in outdoor terrace space on levels 1, 2 and 5 will provide a better working environment. In addition, these terraces are planted and, when combined with the green roof, will enhance biodiversity and assist with moderate rainwater run-off.


The new shower facilities and cycle storage cost £125,000 and will reduce income from existing car spaces, as cycle spaces are provided free of charge. However, providing facilities for cyclists encourages green travel, contributed to the building’s BREEAM Excellent rating and is a frequent request by the majority of occupiers.




How to carry out work whilst the gym and restaurant continue to trade on the ground floor?


Occupiers were notified in advance about any construction work that would affect them, such as service routes through occupied premises and noise during construction. Early discussions meant that the construction team could anticipate problems, working with occupiers to overcome specific issues.


During the course of the construction, occupiers were also given a direct contact in the contractor’s team, so that any urgent issues could be addressed immediately.




How to operate the building efficiently?


Managing agent Jones Lang LaSalle was involved in the briefing of occupiers’ requirements into the design to help ensure the building can operate efficiently from day one. The team also received full training on the operation of the new building and will be able to pass this knowledge on to incoming occupiers.

Find out more

Debbie Hobbs

Head of Sustainability

Legal and General Investment Management 

“The key aim of the project was to create sustainable, grade A office space with an excellent working environment, within a Grade II listed building. Over 95% of the façade was retained, although aesthetically improved. Services were completely replaced with a new energy efficient design and sophisticated controls.
A great deal of focus was placed on the working environment, with the creation of terraces, cycle parking and shower facilities.”

Simon Wilkes, Head of Business Space Development, Legal & General Real Assets