Winners announced for outstanding leadership in sustainable buildings awards

City Green Court

City Green Court building in Prague

British Land, Spanish city Vitoria-Gasteiz and the City Green Court building in Prague, Czech Republic, have clinched the top spots in the inaugural World Green Building Council Leadership Awards – Europe Region. The awards, which were announced to coincide with World Green Building Week 2013 – honour leadership and best practice in green building policy, construction projects and corporate initiatives. British Land won the category for Business Leadership in Sustainability; Vitoria-Gasteiz picked up the award for Leadership in City Policy for Green Building award; and office building City Green Court, topped the Leadership in Building Design and Performance category for its sustainability features.

One of Europe’s largest Real Estate Investment Trusts, British Land owns and manages a portfolio of commercial property worth €19.4 billion and since 2009 has set challenging short- and medium-term environmental targets. As of March 2013, British Land had cut landlord-influenced energy by 38 per cent compared to a 2009 baseline and reducing carbon emissions by 39,600 tonnes – equivalent to annual emissions from more than 6,000 homes.

Vitoria-Gasteiz, capital of the Basque Country, commits to sustainability by allocating 15 per cent of its total budget to “improvement of the environment”. In 2009, it was one of the first European Union municipalities to sign the Covenant of Mayors, voluntarily committing to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources to meet and exceed the EU’s 20 per cent carbon reduction objective by 2020. The city’s long-term aim is to become a carbon-neutral zone.

City Green Court, an office building by Skanska applied a number of sustainable solutions that were ‘firsts’ in the Czech Republic, including a naturally-ventilated atrium, advanced lighting system and waterless urinals. The building was designed to consume 56 per cent less energy than a building constructed to meet the Czech building code. The building saves around 5,000 cubic litres of water through efficiency measures and rainwater harvesting which accounts for 25 per cent less water used than a typical Czech building.

Paul King, Chair of WorldGBC’s Europe Region Network and Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “With nominations from around Europe, the real diversity of the WorldGBC’s Europe Network can be seen in these award entries. The award categories showcase not only some of the best green buildings in Europe, but the leading companies from across the built environment industry and progressive city-level policies as well.

“We congratulate these three winners, all of which clearly demonstrate why green business is good for our people and planet, and that green is simply good business.”