Project Overview

The Living Planet Centre is the headquarters and visitor centre for WWF UK and opened in 2013. The project aimed to created a state-of-the-art building with minimal environmental impact, through the smart use of design, materials and technology.


  • Rated BREEAM Outstanding (score of 90%)
  • 42% embodied carbon reduction across the whole life of the building
  • 99% of construction waste diverted from landfill
  • Energy use was less than 162kWh/m2 in 2018

Approaches Used

  • Enhanced daylighting coupled with daylight control for artificial lighting
  • Glass around the building optimises natural light with external shading to block unwanted heat gain
  • Energy efficient appliances and LED lighting are used where required
  • Mixed-mode ventilation with heat recovery in winter, openable windows and wind cowls for natural ventilation
  • Concrete around the building and ‘Energain’ insulation in the roof capture heat during the day and release it back into the building as it cools.
  • On-site 100 kWp photovoltaics (PV) and ground source heat pump (GSHP) with zero ODP refrigerant provide 150kWp of cooling and 160kWp of heating. The PV and GSHP provide 53% carbon reduction and on average the PV panels generate 15% of the electricity.
  • Ground-air heat exchanger (GAHE) of six concrete pipes, 0.9m diameter buried 1m below car park, with lengths that vary from 60m to 90m. Total length approximately 450m.
  • Off-site electricity supply from ThamesWey Energy’s local combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Woking.
  • Offsetting energy use and business travel using the Gold Standard accredited offsetting scheme.
  • Whole life carbon analysis was produced and the project used advanced carbon accounting in construction. Every RFI had to include embodied carbon impacts for evaluation against cost and technical assessment