IM Properties prove sustainable refurbishments are better for people, place and planet

23 November 2023
Bourn picture

IM Properties prove sustainable refurbishments are better for people, place and planet

23 November 2023

As the sector increasingly focuses on refurbishments to meet climate goals, The Bourn building in Coventry is a prime example of successful sustainability-driven refurbishment which reduced 14,000 tonnes CO2e compared to a new-build alternative. With a £9 million investment by IM Properties (IMP), the asset has been transformed into a modern workplace with a focus on occupier collaboration to deliver sustainability, wellbeing and community benefits.  

Key Facts

  • BOURN is a Net Zero Ready building
  • EPC A rating
  • BREEAM Very Good
  • 97% diversion of materials avoiding landfill during refurbishment by being recycled
  • A ‘SMART’ enabled building with an innovative occupier App to manage energy and waste data, communicate building-wide events, and consistently gather feedback

The Situation

Refurbishment over demolition is vital for the UK's journey towards a Net Zero carbon future, because 87% of the buildings we will have in 2050 are already built. When a building is demolished and a new one is put in its place, the emissions locked into the original asset are lost, and the manufacturing and construction processes create new emissions.

The demand to refurbish buildings and reduce carbon emissions and costs, while enhancing health and wellbeing, is intensifying among various stakeholder groups. Investors are now encouraging and supportive of retrofitting assets meet Net Zero goals, recognising that lower carbon emissions lead to reduced risk, improved occupational efficiency, and lower property management costs. Collaboration with industry members, suppliers, and occupiers plays a pivotal role in achieving an inclusive transition.

To meet this challenge, IMP's Sustainable Futures framework includes an ambition to be Net Zero by 2030, well ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement target. By 2025, their goal is for all new buildings to be Net Zero operationally where IMP retain direct responsibility for procuring regulated energy. These ambitions can only be accomplished through strong partnerships and ongoing collaboration.


Partnering for success

  • Collaboration with Colliers, the managing agent, played a crucial role in embedding sustainability into Bourn. Colliers contributed to effective management strategies and occupier engagement initiatives, ensuring the building meets users' needs.
  • IMP partnered with a carbon-neutral waste contractor to implement sustainable construction methods to help minimise waste going to landfill and improve carbon management methodology.
  • IMP follows an 'avoid, reduce, offset' approach to evaluate and address embodied carbon emissions, procuring Gold Standard carbon credits from Climate Impact Partners (CIP) to offset remaining emissions. 

Sustainability built in, not bolted on

  • From the outset, social and environmental considerations were made a priority; embedded and intrinsic in all processes and decision making. During the design stage IMP embedded green and collaborative spaces throughout the building, and ensured sustainable transport was supported through the provision of a cycle hub and EV charging points. 
  • A Whole Lifecycle Carbon Assessment was conducted using OneClick LCA software and in accordance with RICS Guidance and UKGBC pathways to Net Zero Carbon for embodied and operational carbon.
  • Early occupier focus and consideration led to a better understanding of the end-user’s current and future sustainability requirements, alongside the creation of the interactive Bourn customer App. The App focuses on a partnership approach to sustainability, wellbeing and community by connecting people across the building and establishing effective forms of two-way communications.  This collaborative tool facilitates better understanding and participation with managing operational carbon and improved life cycle performance.


Impact through refurbishment

  • Refurbishment reduced circa 14,000 tCO2e compared to a like-for-like new build.
  • 97% waste diversion from landfill through a site waste management plan.
  • All-electric energy strategy with low carbon heating and 425m2 solar PV array. Displacing incoming grid supplied electricity and reducing dependence on fossil fuel primary energy. 
  • Solar PV panels on the car park roof deck provide 12% of overall power to the building.
  • The use of gold standard carbon-avoidance offset credits. 
  • Investment in the local community achieved through Considerate Constructors Scheme credits through the recruitment of local labour.

Attracting sustainability-minded occupiers 

Bourn is a premium site, designed for modern, forward-thinking businesses to help support them retain and attract the best talent. IMP have embedded sustainability initiatives aimed at occupiers that desire to contribute towards a positive impact on people and planet. 

  • Bourn received EPC A and BREEAM Very Good ratings.
  • Bourn is a 90,000 sq. ft Net Zero Ready building.
  • 16 EV charging points with provision for 46 more in the future.
  • Advanced BMS system and energy smart sub metering for occupier energy management.
  • Sustainable travel supported by EV charging spots and a dedicated cycling hub with secure storage, maintenance station, showers, and lockers.
  • Wellbeing prioritised through air quality monitoring, open floor plates for natural light, biophilia, indoor plants, and green breakout areas.
  •  The Social Hub located at Bourn offers space for community events and activities helping different stakeholders connect with one another in the building.
  • Future community engagement is planned in collaboration with Colliers through the dedicated Bourn app to create social and economic value, with a focus on supporting and promoting local businesses and opportunities.

Challenges and Achievements

Achieving Net Zero with our supply chain

Scope 3 is a challenge all businesses across the real estate sector face as they develop roadmaps to achieving Net Zero. IMP has a huge opportunity to reduce embodied carbon and are engaging with suppliers to reduce upfront construction carbon through design interventions and innovations. 

The established Sustainable Futures framework sets our clear social and environmental expectations of what is required of suppliers in the long-term. The aim is for all suppliers to join the decarbonisation journey and work collaboratively with IMP to share knowledge and ideas. In addition, IMP have run Supply Chain Net Zero workshops to collaboratively develop solutions to the challenges faced by suppliers. Targeted engagement with technology suppliers and innovators has been a primary focus to drive forward solutions that will ensure carbon reduction targets are met. 


IM Properties PLC is one of the UK’s largest privately-owned property companies with a commitment to be innovative in creating sustainable developments, fit for the future. IM Properties have developed over 10m sq. ft of commercial real estate, becoming renowned in the industry for the consistent delivery of strategically located, and award-winning schemes.

IMP’s ambitious Sustainable Futures framework has objectives across three themes, People, Place and Planet, to be achieved by 2030. Within the Roadmap to Net Zero, IMP have committed to become Net Zero by 2030, far ahead of the 2050 Paris Climate Agreement target


Colliers is a leading diversified professional services and investment management company operating in 67 countries with over 18,000 enterprising professionals working collaboratively across the globe. Colliers provides expert advice to real estate occupiers, owners, and investors, and their experts are experienced in creating customised solutions tailored to the needs of each client and each asset.  
Colliers worked collaboratively with IM Properties at Bourn, providing Property Management services that supported the development and management of the building. 


  • Net Zero Ready
  • Sustainable futures - IM Properties

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