Upcycled furniture to make office construction in Glasgow more eco-friendly

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Via Kristy Dorsey

An eco-friendly office project, believed to be the first of its kind in Scotland, was launched by the developer behind the regeneration of the former McLellan Galleries on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow.

Bywater Properties’ transfer follows the completion of the first phase of the construction of what is now known as McLellan Works, consisting of a whole block of retail space on the first floor and three floors of office space. Despite the disruption caused by health restrictions from the coronavirus, the phase of work was completed on schedule.

Bywater’s Dan Mead said the facility produced a fair amount of interest from potential tenants, particularly businesses who are either looking to reduce their existing space or move out of serviced accommodation. However, there continues to be some reluctance to grant contracts, given the current economic uncertainty.

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Bywater aims to extend its offering with a furniture project for a sustainable circular economy that offers offices on a ready-to-go basis. Companies can equip their workspace with products from the millions of tons of office furniture that go to landfill in the U.K. for an extra charge, spread over a period of time. Every single year.

More than 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions of a commercial building over a 40-year lifetime are expected to come from office equipment, 38 percent of which comes from furniture.

Mr. Mead claimed that tenants would be able to boost their environmental performance by providing this service by demonstrating that they are doing their part to protect the environment. In an environment where the building has been restored, this works particularly well, as there are limitations on what can be done to enhance the functionality of an older existing structure.

“When you have an existing building, there’s only so much you can do in terms of the environment,” he says.

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“But furniture is also a very, very big deal. About 75,000 tons of office furniture ends up in landfill every week in the UK.”

Bywater has collaborated with Rype Office, a company based in London that specializes in the remanufacture of used furniture of high quality in like-new conditions. C2:concepts, a Glasgow-based interior design specialist, was contracted to design the final sets, which will be available at McLellan Works later this year when formal viewings can resume.

Bywater paid the site about £ 7 million and spent an extra “multi-million pound” sum in the overhaul.

In addition to retail on the ground floor, the third floor has two suites of around 5,000 square feet and the second floor has 11 smaller suites ranging from 550 to 1,500 square feet. An current occupant occupies the second floor, which has yet to be refurbished.

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