The Land Rover BAR America’s Cup sailing team’s new HQ in Portsmouth has achieved a BREEAM Excellent and in doing so has helped them stake the claim of the first professional British sports team to operate from a BREEAM Excellent building.

Part funded with the support of a £6.5 million government grant, the new 74,000sq.ft waterfront building officially opened in time to lead a British Challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.

In line with its commitment to becoming the most sustainable sports team in the UK, Land Rover BAR, working alongside its sustainability partner 11th Hour Racing, has created a headquarters that showcases all that is sustainable. It has demonstrated that sustainability can not only improve working conditions and lower environmental impact but provide significant cost savings. Efficiencies in time, energy and materials as a result of BREEAM and BIM drove a 50% saving in programme delivery which has led to significant financial savings. Although these savings have not been fully quantified, they are likely to reach over a £1 million across the programme.

Designed by HGP Architects and built by Allied Developments, the innovative building saw sustainability embedded from the outset with 98% of all demolition, excavation and construction waste diverted from landfill and 100% of the demolition concrete reused in the foundations as secondary materials.

BIM enabled the design team to undertake life cycle analysis of the design choices whilst providing informed options for in-use performance monitoring. This encouraged circular thinking about procurement of construction materials and products – how they will perform in-use and what options are available at the end of their life in terms of reuse or recycling.

More than 400 solar panels cover 100% of the available roof space, generating 130 Mwh/yr of power whilst natural ventilation is achieved through the central atrium which eliminates the need for a mechanical ventilation system. Natural and low energy (LED) lighting and rainwater harvesting has led to a 25% improvement in water efficiency over existing UK building regulation standards. In addition the building’s fabric wrap provides a heat saving air cushion of approximately 4-5°C and controls the amount of sunlight that enters the building, reducing energy used for cooling and so reduces the carbon emissions.

BAR Sustainability Manager Dr Susie Tomson said: “At Land Rover BAR we have built the team base to BREEAM Excellent with the aspiration that this acts as the framework for our operations – when people visit, they can tell the building is different – it is all about design, technology and innovation which delivers sustainability on so many fronts.”

Matthew Williams Director, HGP Architects commented: “Using modern methods of construction – and with technologies incorporated into the design to seek carbon neutral credentials – Ben Ainslie and his team have sought to commission a team home of cascading layers linked together through a central light well that connects everyone to the heart of the team and the boat.”

Jeremy Pochman, President of 11th Hour Racing added: “This milestone of BREEAM excellent standard represents an unprecedented success story, and a legacy that will inspire the next generation of sailors, engineers, architects and fans across the world of sport.”