Standing at 180m, 30 St Mary Axe (a.k.a the Gherkin) is the second tallest building in the City of London. It has become part of the city’s famous skyline, and home to several major corporations – not to mention an award-winning restaurant on the top floor.
“The building was designed with the environment in mind,” explains Associate Director, Jimmy Demetriou. “It uses natural ventilation, so we don’t have the air conditioning permanently on. And there’s 24,000 sq m of exterior glass, so we need very little lighting. But in our washrooms we were still using paper towels – expensive and carbon-intensive to manufacture.”
In fact, paper towels were costing the building’s management over £40,000 every year. And, with a bathroom on each of the 34 levels, replenishing and collecting towels wasted man-hours and time. Despite recycling the waste paper, several of the building’s tenants asked Jimmy and his team to find an alternative hand drying method.
“Our tenants set-out what they’d like – a hygienic hand dryer that worked quickly and used a low amount of energy,” says Jimmy. “The Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer was the only machine to match this criteria. We’ve now got a total of 68 units up and down the building.”
The new technology has been well received by visitors and tenants alike. “We’re pleased with the result,” explains Jimmy. “Managing the facilities in a building as large as the Gherkin is difficult – anything that saves us time and money while fitting with the aesthetic of the building is great.”