London Office Buildings Could Go Green with £20,000 Competition

Green roof garden on London office buildings

London Mayor Boris Johnson is challenging the city’s green-thinking students to come up with radical new Eco-friendly ideas for London office buildings and beyond. It’s backed by a £20,000 prize for the best ideas, and is part of wider plans to cut carbon emissions in London by 60% by 2025.

The 2013 Low Carbon Prize is targeted at London’s young thinkers, engineers and designers. The intention is to produce new and innovative ideas to cut carbon emissions in structures including London office buildings, helping London create a cleaner, greener environment. This year’s prize of £20,000 will be split between the two best entries to further develop their ideas, and the top 20 entries will also have the chance to win a paid internship with Siemens, the award sponsor.

In last year’s Low Carbon Prize 2012, Arthur Kay from UCL Bartlett School of Architecture designed Bio-Bean – a process to turn used coffee grinds into bio fuel – which is on track to begin production this summer.

Boris Johnson has set out targets to lower carbon emissions in London by 60% by 2025. The prize forms part of this target and the ideas can play any part towards reducing carbon emissions from London office buildings, commercial properties, transport or energy infrastructure.

With London’s buildings accounting for nearly 80% of carbon emissions, commercial properties and London office buildings are expected to form a key focus in the competition. According to government statistics, 80% of existing London office buildings and residential properties will still be standing in 2050 – so energy-efficient retrofitting and refurbishment works is vital.

London is currently in the midst of a large-scale carbon-cutting programme which includes a refitting project on public buildings. Over 100 public building renovations have already been completed, saving £2.1 million a year on energy bills, with a further 500 properties on the list awaiting energy-saving works.

Commenting on the award, London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “London’s green economy is booming and I want to make sure that our brightest young minds are firmly engaged with its huge potential. I am convinced that somewhere out there is the next big idea that will not only help us reduce our carbon emissions, but also encourage huge investment and growth in the capital.

Applications will be judged by a panel of business and climate change experts, including representatives from the Mayor’s Office, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 13th June 2013. The event takes place in the Siemens Crystal in London – itself an icon of urban sustainability and one of the most energy efficient buildings in the world.

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