Being 30 miles out of London and on the major transport corridor of the M1, the area around where I live has a lot of distribution centres. One massive shed looks more or less like any other, but every once in a while there’s one worth noting. This month I was pleased to see turn up at the , nominated in two categories. It’s latest giant shed is the first industrial building to be judged ‘outstanding’ by BREEAM.
The distribution centre has a vast solar array on the roof, and solar hot water. It is well insulated and heated partly by a solar air heating system from I’ve mentioned SolarWall a couple of times, and it’s good to see their systems turning up on more buildings. The office parts of the building have heat recovery ventilation, and a rainwater harvesting system captures water for flushing toilets.
What sets DC2 apart is that it is built on a brownfield site, and 97% of the demolition waste was recycled, with all the aggregate for construction sourced on site. It’s also right next to the busway between Luton and Dunstable, which means that staff will be able to travel by public transport more easily than by car. That’s an environmental benefit that will continue year after year, as long as the building is occupied.
Because the centre performs so well on energy efficiency, the long term cost to occupants is lower than similar facilities. In that way, it’s a good example of how sustainable buildings are not just the right thing to do for environmental reasons, but are soundly practical business too.