North Wales Police Eastern Command and Custody Centre

For its 93,400 ft2 new centre in Llay, North Wales Police used its procurement to promote environmental and social value. To complement the sustainable design of the building, furniture suppliers were assessed on their capability to deliver economic, social and environmental value. Rype Office was awarded the furniture contract.

Images by Chris Foster Photography

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How they did it

North Wales Police is committed to the betterment of North Wales and is an active exponent of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The furniture procurement for this project differed from traditional approaches in 4 ways, in order to create the greatest value economically, environmentally and socially:

1. Furniture procurement was separated from the build.  That is, the building/fit out contractor did not provide the furniture. This enabled a direct relationship with the furniture supplier to work together to achieve the best outcomes and ensure that the furniture will be remanufactured for further lives in the future.

2. North Wales Police researched sustainable furniture options prior to commencing procurement. This included visiting and speaking to organisations who had successfully secured Circular Office furnishings.

3. Tender evaluation criteria were developed to encourage sustainable solutions.  Examples of sustainable assessment criteria are found in this article on Circular Economy furniture procurement.

4. Following tender award, North Wales Police’s Project Manager, Liz Bryan, worked collaboratively with Rype Office to select the most sustainable, value-for-money furniture options to suit each space. This detailed design of each office optimised room layouts and created a bespoke look and feel for each team which linked visually with overall aesthetic.

Furniture outcomes


This project saved £290,000 compared to the average cost of mid-range furniture thanks to remanufacturing, without compromising on style, quality or comfort.

Remanufacturing helps public bodies to break a wasteful cycle buying the lowest cost new furniture, locking them into poor styling, poor ergonomics, short lifetimes and poor sustainability. Most budget furniture cannot be remanufactured and ends up as landfill after its short life.

Environmental Sustainability

88% of the furniture was refurbished or remanufactured, saving 58 tonnes of CO2e greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding 26 tonnes of waste.

Remanufacturing/refurbishing reduces the environmental footprint of an item by 80% compared to the same item made from virgin resources and avoids waste; WRAP estimates that 300 tonnes of office furniture goes to landfill every working day in the UK.

Local Sourcing

Along with furniture from Wrexham Police Station, furniture was sourced from the Flintshire County Council offices and local suppliers.

Dr Greg Lavery, Director of Rype Office, describes how this was done:

“At the start of this project we put a pin in the map at the new building in Llay and worked outwards looking for furniture sources, upholsterers, powder coaters and carpentry workshops. We found some wonderful suppliers and working with them we were able to keep much of the furniture spend in North Wales, supporting the growth of small local Circular Economy businesses. We will continue working with them on future projects.”

Social value

Recognising that remanufacturing is ideal work for those facing the greatest barriers to employment, Rype Office employed local disadvantaged staff with the help of the local Remploy division. Four long term unemployed with disabilities were engaged for the project, providing 1,773 hours (236 days) of paid Living Wage employment and training.

Outdoor seating and tables were made by people with learning disabilities at Meifod Wood Products Denbigh.

Other building sustainability initiatives

BREEAM Very Good

With a score of 62.7% the building comfortably achieved BREEAM Very Good rating. Key environmental design features of the building include:

  • Well-insulated building, with a tested air permeability rate of <5m³/(h.m²)
  • High efficiency boiler serving underfloor heating and radiators
  • Low water use sanitary ware, shut off valves and leak detection
  • 80 kiloWatt solar photovoltaic roof array
  • LED lighting and control systems
  • Rainwater harvesting

Ecological Impact

The project managed and enhancing its ecological impact, including:

  • Bee Orchids, Common Spotted Orchids, Dune Helleborine and Twayblade Orchids were harvested and trans-located
  • Oak, birch, willow and wildlife-friendly flower beds were planted
  • An additional breeding pond for Great Crested Newts was created
  • Habitats were protected for dingy skipper butterflies


About Rype Office

Rype Office helps clients to create beautiful, productive offices at substantial cost savings through good design and by using remanufactured and sustainable office furniture. Email or phone 033 3358 3330.