Brewery Adnams have announced plans for the construction of what is possibly Britain’s “greenest” warehouse. The brewery’s new distribution centre, which will be operational from September 2006, is the first commercial building in the UK to be constructed from environmentally friendly and highly sustainable lime hemp blocks and will include both a “living” green carpet on the roof and a reed cleansed waste water system.
The 2382sqm facility, situated in Southwold, Suffolk, is being built with the aim of meeting a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment
Environmental Assessment method) Excellence rating. Construction on the facility, located outside Southwold in Suffolk, is due to start at the end of 2005.
In line with Adnams’ commitment to the environment, the building design incorporates:
- A garden on the roof. The roof is sedum, basically a living carpet of thick fleshy plants, which not only give structural and aesthetic benefits, but many environmental ones too, including reduced energy costs and removal of carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air.
- Lime hemp and chalk blocks. This project is the first commercial building in the UK to use vapour permeable lime hemp blocks. 30% of the wall is locked in carbon dioxide, passively regulating the internal temperature and humidity.
- unspoilt view. For passers by, the centre will look like part of the landscape. It is set low in the site of an old gravel pit and the sedum roof will effectively act as camouflage.
- Reed cleansed. A waste water system will pass dirty water through a septic tank and through reed beds, making it pure enough to return to the nearby ponds – where wildlife flourishes.
- Not a drop wasted. Rainwater stored in the sedum is harvested from the roof and is reclaimed and used for washing vehicles and equipment – and in the loo!
- Sun power. Solar panels are located in the roof and will provide 80% of the operation’s hot water supply.
- Glulam wood. This glued and laminated wood is from a sustainable source.
- Renewable energy. The energy saved per square metre will be 50%compared with the current facility.
According to Andy Wood, Adnams Commercial Director “As a values driven business, we believe that ethical practices and a commitment to the environment, staff and customers ultimately leads to better business results. We’re proud of our new warehouse, which we see as a sign of how businesses can reduce their impact on the environment. It incorporates industry-leading standards for energy efficiency, water usage, effluent control, recycling and even traffic management!”
The floor space for the new warehouse will more than double present capacity. The demand for this new facility is due to Adnams’ growth in production and sales and will replace the Victoria Street site in Southwold, which was built in 1980.
Adnams has been brewing beer in the Suffolk coastal town of Southwold since 1872 and is now one of the UK’s most successful brewers of cask beer. Adnams top selling beers include Adnams Bitter, Broadside Strong Original, Suffolk Strong Bitter and the new launched Explorer.
Adnams received the 2005 Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable development. The facility has been designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson architects, a top ten international design company. Other AFR projects in the UK include The Royal Exchange and Paddington Station in London.
Source: Green Building News Jan. 2006.