A high-impact retrofit to reduce operational carbon and enhance wellbeing

Legal and General
P1: 2023, P2: 2024

Our Quayside refurbishment transforms three dated office buildings into an attractive, low carbon community that nurtures wellbeing.

Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) bought the properties in 2019 to refurbish during upcoming lease breaks. With the existing occupiers leaving—and COVID accelerating new ways of working—Quayside answers the call for sustainable, productive, and amenity rich office space.

Quayside is being delivered in phases. The first building completed early 2024 and is set to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating. The second building is currently in planning.

Reuse over rebuild

Reusing the existing buildings contributes significantly to the project’s Net Zero performance goals. Rather than replacing the existing brick facades, we improved envelope performance by focusing on key areas: new windows, greater insulation to the soffit, underground car park, and the roof.

To refresh the development’s appearance—which was considered ‘negative’ within the conservation area—Juliet balconies, painted brickwork, recycled slate roof tiles, and new glazing combine for a friendlier aesthetic.

The larger window openings also improve daylight within the floor plates and enhance the connections between the buildings, courtyard, and waterfront.

Where possible, we’re also reusing dismantled steel from the existing structures, alongside recycled steel from elsewhere. With the industry adapting ways to sort, prepare, and certify reused steel for commercial projects, this circular approach provides a practical way to reduce the carbon footprint of modified steel structures.


Lowering carbon and closing the performance gap

Working with the mechanical and electrical engineers, we undertook a life cycle carbon assessment (LCA) at the feasibility and early design stages—and will be aiming for a NABERS rating to address the potential performance gap between design and operation.

CLT floor slabs and timber composite windows were significant decisions made to reduce embodied carbon, while upgraded heating, lighting, and mixed-mode ventilation systems all contribute to lower operational carbon.

In Phase 1 alone:

The decision to use a CLT slab, as well as the decision to use composite windows, was made based on life-cycle carbon assessments. Together with the reuse of steel, raised access flooring and 40% recycled content in new steel section, approximately 163 tonnes of CO2 savings were calculated from the project.


31% lower embodied carbon than RIBA 2030 target (A1-C4) – 511kg CO2e per m2


28% lower upfront carbon than LETI 2030 target (A1-A5) – 251kg CO2e per m2 (at design stage)

Sustainable targets:

EPC Rating A

BREEAM Outstanding


WiredScore Platinum

Phase 1: North Quay House

Creating a connection to nature

The central courtyard that connects the three buildings is critical to Quayside’s social performance.

Split over three levels, we’re reconfiguring the buildings’ reception areas to connect with the courtyard, with extensive glazing enhancing the link between indoor and outdoor. The receptions borrow space from the courtyard, and vice versa, making both feel more generous.

Abundant planting, breakout areas, and access to a coffee shop all invite people to spend more time outside, while small, temporary events in the horseshoe seating area will further animate the space. Previously gated, the courtyard will now be open to the public, bringing new life into the site and surrounding area.

The landscape design of the courtyards will enhance the quality of external space and improve the wellbeing of both the tenants and the public.  The design has opened up the external spaces with greater access to greenery, shaded tree cover, and the adjacent riverside walk.  A phased landscape approach to the external design allows for future construction work to adjacent buildings with minimal damage and wastage to the North Quay House scheme.

Clare Billany, Senior Landscape Architect

Phase 2: DAS House

A mindful interior approach

Designed as if the courtyard flows through into the interior, Quayside feels lighter and more comfortable than traditional commercial offices.

Natural hues and finishes throughout each building create a sense of calm, complemented by high quality planting for biophilic wellbeing benefits. Inspired by sun patterns and circadian rhythms, the way the natural light changes throughout the day also serves to root each space and its occupant in nature.

Other small touches, like wall plaster made from the crushed terracotta roof tiles, further enhance that connection to Earth—while offering another opportunity to reuse existing material.

To aid productivity, the interior recognises that people require different settings depending on their task, mood, and privacy needs. Catering to both the private and social aspect of work, amenity space plays a major role. A multi-purpose room provides a place for meditation, prayer, and breast feeding mothers, while a shared lounge with soft seating and booths offer space for casual check-ins, meetings, and small events.

Encouraging active travel

With Quayside located in central Bristol—just a short walk from Temple Meads train station—we’re encouraging people to walk and cycle to work, promoting better wellbeing while contributing to lower city-wide carbon emissions.

Reconfiguring the reception area and reclaiming some of the car parking spaces allows us to accommodate generous cycle storage, showers, and changing facilities, and there’s also EV charging for those who drive electric vehicles.

Quayside Bristol was purchased with the aim of creating top quality office buildings through refurbishment rather than redevelopment to minimise the embodied carbon impact and to create low energy in use. Stride Treglown have developed an innovative architectural solution that has both modernised the dated appearance whilst managing to retain and remodel substantial elements of the existing façade. The combination of newly landscaped external space, great external architecture and modern interior space has created a modern, vibrant sustainable work environment

Simon Wilkes, Head of Development, LGIM

Regulatory drivers and occupier demand are pushing the need for healthy, low carbon workspaces. This is a challenge we’re embracing. Quayside is our fifth project working with the LGIM team, where significant ESG aspirations—and the need to make assets future ready—are made possible by carbon-conscious reuse.