CUTTING EDGE: The traditional facade of HSBC Bermuda’s Harbourview Centre conceals high-tech sustainable, green methods and design. Photo supplied
CUTTING EDGE: The traditional facade of HSBC Bermuda’s Harbourview Centre conceals high-tech sustainable, green methods and design. Photo supplied

Not long ago, HSBC Bermuda built a brand new flagship building in the heart of Hamilton.

The building was destined to become Bermuda’s first owner-occupied, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certified building for ‘New Construction – Buildings and Interiors’.

LEED has become a familiar accreditation for ‘green’ workplaces worldwide. HSBC takes great pride in its unwavering commitment to sustainable development, making HSBC Bermuda’s recent LEED silver certification a major achievement in environmental stewardship.

Milestone

In Bermuda, up to 300 HSBC staff members occupy HSBC’s Harbourview Centre and have embraced and supported the new environmental standards of a ‘green’ building.

This wonderful achievement is a milestone for Bermuda. So, how did Harbourview Centre achieve LEED Silver Certification? Or, in other words; what makes a building ‘Green’?

There are four primary categories that we were required to focus on to obtain LEED certification.

First, the design had to be energy efficient; second, sustainable materials and construction methods had to be employed.

The most memorable construction method being; all vehicles leaving the site had to be hosed with clean water before leaving.

Third, the indoor air quality must meet the highest standards and be maintained; and finally, environmentally conscious practices have to be implemented after occupancy.

The indoor environmental quality includes a cleaning programme which uses environmentally-friendly cleaning products and methods.

The building is highly-insulated and water-resistant, to limit exposure to mould and mildew.

Ventilation is controlled by workspace carbon dioxide sensors; as the level of carbon dioxide goes up as more fresh air is automatically brought into the workspace.

Harbourview Centre harvests daylight; meaning the lights automatically dim when the sun is bright, further reducing energy consumption.

Installation of specialty window glass balances thermal heat gain and continues to maximize daylight into the space.

LEED certification requires the occupants of a building to practice new behaviours.

The Harbourview Centre has indoor and outdoor meeting places, to encourage staff to change their environments during working hours. All workspaces are trash can-less reducing the need for more than 300 trash bags per night.

It is proven that through various academic studies that occupying a green building often times results in the following benefits at work; productivity increases, staff absenteeism is reduced, the environmental impact on the community is reduced, and sales increase.

HSBC Harbourview Centre is a sophisticated building with innovations, unique designs and energy ‘save’ solutions.

Staff occupying the building are a fantastic example that we can deliver an exceptionally high quality ‘green’ product within a high profile, pressure-filled environment.

Each office floor features a central ‘village’ which consolidates all recycling, houses a central trash collection, printing, plus kitchen appliances.

Sustainable

Harbourview Centre stands as a superb example of  a modern, high-tech ‘green’ office and retail construction development, while sustaining the traditional architectural characteristics of Bermuda’s most prestigious waterfront commercial district.

The location is perfect for Hamilton pedestrians to access the building from Front or Reid Street, and to experience an environmentally-friendly thoroughfare.

The Front Street lobby houses an ongoing environmental education ‘Green Screen’ and visitors are welcome to stop and explore the touch screen and discover, in real time, the numerous energy-saving features and measurements being realized in the Harbourview Centre.

The success of the LEED silver certification, which is based on a points system, is quite a feat for an island where there are no local natural building material resources.

But why not go for gold? HSBC Bermuda is presently investigating LEED Gold Certification, which presents some exciting island-wide environmental lifestyle changes we believe could have a long-term impact on the sustainability of Bermuda.

Mollie Beattie, the first woman to run the US Fish and Wildlife Service, once said: “In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing.

“If it is un-environmental, it is un-economical. That is the rule of nature.”