Good Company Cafe
Client: British Land
Designer: Produce UK
Furniture: Rype Office
Plants: Urban Growth
Commissioned by British Land to create a sustainable community space, the Good Company Cafe sets a new benchmark for sustainability in the retail sector – a beautiful, high quality space with a tiny environmental footprint, created on a tight budget. It was chosen for the first See Net Zero site visit and launch party on 19 October 2023.
Sustainable materials and furniture – with a strong community purpose
Anecdotally understood to be a low budget, achieved by using remanufactured furniture and recycled materials
Build: Not known
Furniture: Not known
HVAC: Not known
Second life furniture
Hours employment for those furthest from workforce
Good Company Cafe is at the heart of British Land’s Regent’s Place, a 13 acre campus north of Euston Road, London. It is designed, by Produce UK, to bring together the 20,000 local workers, residents and community groups.
The cafe’s seating areas and event space are available for initiatives to improve the connectedness and wellbeing of those on the campus and surrounding suburbs.
Consistent with its community purpose, Good Company Cafe is a showcase for environmentally sustainability solutions.
Circular Economy Furniture
Recognising the high contribution of furniiture to a building’s lifetime carbon emissions, the project chose 77% remanufactured furniture, supplied by Rype Office.
The cafe employs beautiful circular materials throughout, some of which were integrated into the furniture by Rype Office. Outdoor tables tops are made from recycled TV screen glass and waste ceramics by Alusid. Benchtops are made from post-consumer waste plastic manufactured by Smile Plastics. Table and bleacher block tops are all-natural linoleum (made from flax seed oil, wood flour, pine rosins, jute, limestone and pigments) from Forbo. Fabrics were made in the UK by Camira from recycled post-consumer waste and bio-based, biodegradable wool. Acoustic panels lining the meeting rooms were constructed from recycled wood by Baux.
Remanufacturing reduces the greenhouse gas emissions footprint of an item of furniture substantially. From its decision to prioritise remanufactured furniture for the cafe over furniture from virgin resources, British Land saved 6,060kg of embodied carbon and avoided 1,140 kg of waste.
The 125 items of remanufactured furniture within the cafe have a rich and diverse history. As examples: the large Herman Miller and Vitra table frames had their first lives in the London offices of Amazon and Marks & Spencer respectively; much of the soft furniture was remanufactured after serving Facebook’s London headquarters in an adjacent building on the campus, and; the dining table bases were cleared from Cardiff Business School, refurbished and powder coated in a vibrant contemporary colour.
Closed Loop Campus
Good Company Cafe demonstrates the value of strategic estate asset planning to deliver Circular Economy outcomes. The soft furniture was cleared from Facebook’s office on the campus, remanufactured in a vacant space on site and then installed into the café. Not only did this deliver cost savings when procuring furniture, it also reduced local traffic congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from avoided transport.