Persimmon House - BREEAM Project in Dartford

BREEAM Excellent Office Building

Although only 30 years old, Cotton Lake House (formerly Persimmon House) in Dartford was in need of a radical overhaul in terms of energy efficiency. In a competitive market for landlords seeking and retaining tenants, the owners decided to take the opportunity to provide the only BREEAM certified office space on a prestigious business park, only 20 miles from Central London. It achieved BREEAM Excellent which is a great result for this building. The certification has since been warmly welcomed by existing tenants who can use it to support their own ESGs and has attracted new tenants to empty offices.

BREEAM doesn’t consider all elements of interior fit-out but we were brought in to create interiors that complement environmental standards. Rarely do we receive so much feedback (all positive!) from tenants and staff but the client has passed on several enthusiastic messages. A high-quality design can genuinely improve the mood and attitude of employees entering their place of work.

Entrance, Cotton Lake House, Dartford (BREEAM Excellent)

Feature Lighting

Part of the client brief was to create a warm, welcoming space. The existing decor was in pastel blues with bright white lighting. It was austere and cold. We knew that lighting was going to be key and we wanted to introduce rich darker colours to contrast with the huge expanse of glass at the front of the building, which offers views of the impressive Dartford Crossing bridge over the Thames.

We wanted circular lighting to add contrast to the angular staircase. The stairs also had a slightly marine feel and we thought the colour scheme and porthole shaped lights gave a nod to a subtle nautical theme.

The other purpose of the feature lighting is that it is visible from outside. In the dark there is a soft unusual glow emanating from Cotton Lake House in contrast to neighbouring buildings.

Bespoke Joinery

An unfortunate characteristic of multi-tenant office buildings is the ‘admin’ that turns up in the main reception. We are forever entering plush lobbies to be confronted with bales of post, random bags, safety posters or cleaner’s paraphernalia. Safety posters and fire extinguishers are always on display for essential reasons but we’re determined that everything else needs to disappear.

At Cotton Lake House, a basic table was piled high with post for the tenants and we designed a bespoke set of post boxes which blended into the wooden panelling. Sometimes an ‘off-the-shelf’ product works but in this thoughtful high-end lobby we knew it had to be made for the space.

Complementing BREEAM with Pre-owned furniture

Once again we managed to utilise pre-owned furniture. These classic Allemuir pebble stools have a high retail cost but were available secondhand for a very reasonable price, but unfortunately not in a colour we would have chosen. We sourced an excellent upholsterer close to the project who took delivery and reupholstered them in our specified fabric.

Best-in-class flooring

We also specified carpet tiles from Burmatex, a British company who make one of the most sustainable contract carpet products on the market. All made at their factory in West Yorkshire, Burmatex have excellent credentials, using 100% renewable energy, developing innovative ways of recycling fibres and offering a take back service. Read more about the great work Burmatex are doing here.

Does your office space need refurbishment? Would you like to know more about how your space can impact on ESGs? Get in touch!

Staircase, Cotton Lake House, Dartford (BREEAM Excellent)
Toilets, Cotton Lake House, Dartford (BREEAM Excellent)