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A 500kW system has been completed in Ransomes Europark, Ipswich.

EZsolar managed to complete this project just before the new FIT was implemented. Electricity from solar energy was created through high efficiency PV modules installed on the roof.

The City Council granted the planning permission to EZsolar which has been responsible for the design and installation. The photovoltaic panels, which represent the largest part of the cost of the installation, weigh 15kg each, weighing 32 tonnes, were well within the loading capability of the roof. All panels were mounted on frames to improve their elevation to the sun. Four 100kW inverters made by Zigour were used to achieve the installation.


Low carbon demo house

Town & Country Housing Group (TCHG) in Kent decided to construct a low carbon prototype home to act as a test bed for building to level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

In the process they used the H+H Thin Joint system with large format Jumbo Bloks.

The house is designed to be as energy efficient as possible, resulting in low running costs for the occupants. Essential to this is a ‘fabric first’ approach whereby the building structure is constructed to be extremely airtight and thermally efficient to reduce heat loss to a minimum. Using Thin Jointed aircrete significantly contributed to this way of building.

Paul White, TCHG design and quality manager said: “We used H+H aircrete blocks for the project for their high recycled content as well as their inherently high insulative qualities. This allowed us to construct thinner external walls than alternatives on a tight site whilst still achieving a low U-value.

“Using the Thin Joint system with the Rå Build method is a good option because speed of construction means the inner shell can be made weather tight extremely quickly, faster than using traditional masonry techniques thus preventing the structure becoming damp in wet weather and allowing other trades to start internal work earlier. Furthermore, the system offers some thermal mass (to help regulate the temperature in hot weather) over and above standard timber frame options.”

The home is designed to fit in with others in the area and cost £205,000 to build (including the renewable energy technology that was being trialled), on land already owned by the housing group.


Recycled granite

Hanson Formpave supplied nearly 2,000m2 of its EcoGranite paving for the construction of pedestrianised zones at SusCon in Dartford.

EcoGranite is the company’s environmentally aware alternative to natural granite, with up to 77% recycled content. Working in partnership with laying specialist, Interlock Paving, Hanson Formpave supplied 1600m2 of EcoGranite in Natural Cornish, sparkling white granite with black flecks and 225m2 in Balmoral, black granite with white flecks.

Carl Harrison, director of Interlock Paving said: “We have worked alongside Hanson Formpave on numerous occasions and the environmental requirements at SusCon provided an ideal opportunity for us to once again partner our specialist skills, meeting the tough demands of the specification.”

Architect, Stephen George & Partners LLP was responsible for specifying the necessary sustainable building materials, a task which included a major research programme into the green credentials of the products.

This research programme paid dividends and resulted in SusCon being awarded a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating with a score of 88.85%, following a recent BREEAM Education 2008 design stage assessment. At the time of the assessment this was the highest BREEAM score ever achieved for an education building.

James Nicholls of Stephen George & Partners LLP said: “EcoGranite is already a popular choice with architects and specifiers thanks to its sustainable credentials. We have been able to specify a product that meets both our aesthetic and environmental demands, without compromising on quality.

“Cost plays a key role in the specification of products, and the fact that EcoGranite is less expensive than natural granite, and matches its performance and appearance, makes it the ideal alternative.”

Promoting excellence in construction skills and learning, the £5 million building for a public/private partnership, led by Dartford Borough Council, Prologis and North West Kent College, also acts as a demonstration project designed and constructed using a wide range of sustainable products, methods and technologies. Main contractors, Winvic, managed the construction of the new centre.

EcoGranite delivers the appearance; performance and benefits associated with a natural granite product without the environmental impact. The unique mix includes stent and slag, by-products of Cornish China Clay and the South Wales steel industry, helping to minimise the drain on natural resources and avoid energy intensive quarrying processes.

With a regular surface and consistent joint widths, EcoGranite provides a non slip-skid surface, juxtaposed by a seemingly smooth, sparkling finish; working together to produce an aesthetic, pedestrian-friendly paving.


Light relief

Tenants in North Tyneside are benefitting from reduced electricity bills thanks to a donation of 8,500 energy saving light bulbs by Kier North Tyneside as part of an initiative to promote energy efficiency amongst the council’s 16,000 residents.

Kier North Tyneside, a joint venture company between Kier and North Tyneside Council, donated the bulbs while carrying out repairs and maintenance works in conjunction with the council’s better homes department. The aim of the donation was to help reduce tenants’ energy bills and offer tips on leading an environmentally friendly lifestyle to the residents of North Tyneside.

Energy saving light bulbs use up to 80% less electricity than a standard bulb but produce the same amount of light. In turn, using less electricity results in properties producing less carbon dioxide, which is one of the main causes of climate change. According to research by the Energy Saving Trust replacing all the bulbs in a property could reduce household electricity bills by £50 per year and up to £390 over the lifetime of the bulbs.

Kier regional director for maintenance, Mike Furze, said: “Energy saving light bulbs are an extremely inexpensive and easy way of helping our residents to cut their energy bills while doing their bit for the environment. We work closely with communities to encourage environmentally friendly behaviour and we hope that by donating these light bulbs we can help promote energy efficiency among our customers.”

In addition Kier North Tyneside gave 200 bulbs to the Salvation Army to be given away to its service users. The bulbs were donated to Kier North Tyneside by The Rotary Club of Monkseaton Centenary, one of 68 clubs in the north-east of England and part of a worldwide service organisation of around 1.2 million people in more than 200 countries. The club’s aim is to give service to those in need, whether in local communities or abroad.

Future planning

Outline planning permission has been granted for a new development of 1,096 homes at Oakham, the County Town of Rutland.

Design, environment and energy consultancy LDA Design was appointed by Hawksmead to prepare a masterplan and design codes for a 60ha sustainable residential extension.

The masterplan's vision is to create a mixed-use development of residential, retail, healthcare, amenity and employment uses set within a characteristic Rutland landscape. The development will link with the existing urban grain of Oakham and provide an attractive gateway to the town from the north. It was designed to meet the aspirations of the local community, with a full understanding of the natural features of the site and a strong emphasis on biodiversity creation and good landscape design.

A key feature of the masterplan is the provision of a permanent site for the Rutland Agricultural Showground, which will include sports pitches for local clubs as well as landscape enhancements.

LDA Design has also been appointed as architect to design the first phase of the approved masterplan, for 140 homes, which includes two of LDA Design's own house types. The houses, designed to be light and spacious, have built in flexibility to meet increasing stringent standards of energy and resource efficiency. The design code ensures high standards are set for the housing quality and diversity of design, and gives developers like Hawksmead scope to modify its schemes to adapt to changing market needs and commercial considerations.

Office complex

Aluglaze panels from Panel Systems have been chosen for the new All Saints Office Complex in West Bromwich.

The panels were specified as part of creating a contemporary exterior to the building. The five storey office block (141,000ft2), which is being built by Stoford Developments for BT Liberata, an IT services company, will house around 450 staff. The building will be an exemplar for sustainability, due to its BREEAM Excellent rating, which led to the choice of an A-rated Styrofoam core for the aluminium-glazed panels.

Panel Systems produced 930m2 of bespoke Aluglaze panels, with a 2mm silver coloured aluminium face and the building achieved a very low U-value of 0.23 W/m2K.

Danny Phelan, sales manager for Panel Systems, said: “This will be a strikingly modern office space, but with a strong focus on sustainability, which was why it was crucial that panels were chosen for the exterior that met both the aesthetic and environmental credentials.

“Our panels have been supplied for many prestigious city centre projects and we are very proud of this latest addition to our portfolio. We worked with the contractor to produce a bespoke panel that met the client’s exact requirements for sustainability, performance and aesthetics and the result is a striking, iconic building in the heart of West Bromwich.”

The building has been created by Bowmer and Kirkland, with Stoford behind the development of this £75m office complex.

Aluglaze is an insulated infill panel comprising polyester-coated aluminium, which is vacuum bonded to a core of Styrofoam. Aluglaze is typically specified when aesthetic considerations are paramount and is available in all RAL and Syntha Pulvin colours. Panel Systems’ bespoke service means that Aluglaze can be specified to specific sizes and thicknesses to suit individual glazing systems and achieve U-values as low as 0.10 W/m2K.


Conservation contribution

Titon’s HRV1 Q Plus whole house ventilation units and CME1 Q Plus continuous mechanical extract units have been installed in Kingston Mills, a prestigious conservation project, in Bradford‐Upon‐Avon.

The project has recently been awarded a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) award in the Local Regeneration and Renewal category. Titon’s ultra‐efficient HRV1 Q Plus ventilation units (with heat recovery) have efficiencies of up to 91% and are helping all the houses on the development comply with Level Three of the Code for Sustainable Homes, as part of a joint venture with Galliford Try, Linden Homes and Fuseland.

Titon’s HRV1 Q Plus has been independently tested by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and is Energy Saving Trust (EST) Best Practice compliant.

Tyson Anderson, sales and marketing Director, Titon, said: “The combination of very low power consumption and a highly efficient heat exchanger ensures that the HRV1 Q Plus is specifically designed and manufactured to enhance standard assessment procedure (SAP) performance via Appendix Q of Part L, yet small enough to be easily incorporated into apartments and houses where space is at a premium.”

The CME1 Q Plus incorporates a unique tilted impeller, single level ports and has a very large capacity of over 400m³/hr at reasonable static pressure, making it perfect for delivering System 3 of ADF ventilation for dwellings of up to approximately 300m² floor area. The unit’s unique design ensures it is not only very energy efficient but also very quiet too.

Thanks to its ground‐breaking design, the CME1 Q Plus is also easy to clean and maintain and the unit can be serviced without the need to disturb any ductwork.

The restored conservation project offers around 170 one, two, three and four bedroom homes together with shops, a restaurant and some office space in an important town centre, riverside location.

The aim of the restoration project is to create a seamless extension to the historic and vibrant town centre and is the culmination of many years planning and consultation.


Green church

The Church of England Diocese of Winchester is to go over to recycled PVCU windows for all future replacements in its 250 clergy houses, with Network Veka member KJM as installer.

Diocese houses manager Chris Mariner said the decision was in direct response to the clergy themselves, as well as the body’s environmental officer, who asked for a greener alternative.

He said: “We know the benefits of PVC but they were not keen on the conventional product. As soon as we heard about the recycled frames, they had no objection at all and we were very happy to commit ourselves to the change. We have also asked for all new windows to be ‘A’ rated so we will be saving on fuel use as well.”

The Diocese, which covers Hampshire, Bournemouth, East Dorset and the Channel Islands, is a long-standing customer of Andover-based KJM. It has a rolling programme, replacing windows in about ten properties a year, some of which are still single-glazed. Its new windows will be based on the Veka Infinity system, which uses up to 80% recycled material locked inside a co-extruded outer layer of virgin PVCU.

KJM and Network Veka fabricator Glazerite recently celebrated the first recycled PVCU windows ever to be chosen for a UK private house and Glazerite helped Luton to become the first borough in the UK to commit entirely to recycled PVCU for all future window replacements.

Veka also last secured the first-ever major contract to install the recycled product, with the Places for People Group.

Lighting the way

Kingspan Insulation has installed photovoltaic panels on the roof of its manufacturing facility in Pembridge.

A total of 5,583m2 of roof space is now covered by the Kingspan Roof PowerPanel System, which was supplied by fellow company in the Kingspan Group, Kingspan Insulated Panels. Offering a design capacity of 800KW, the System will take up the burden of electricity needed to run the site’s lighting and its manufacturing lines.

This initiative is one of many designed to reduce the company’s electricity usage. This started with the retrofit installation of roof lights to reduce electric lighting demand, improving the efficiency of the remaining luminaires and installing intelligent controls to cut down on demand.

Electrical motors on the manufacturing lines have been replaced with energy efficient variable speed drives, compressors have been replaced with more energy efficient models and improved controls have been installed on the extraction system and compressors, which constitute two of the main energy loads on the site.

In 2008 the company installed a gas-fired CHP plant which produces part of the base electrical demand of the site whilst delivering heat to the production processes. However, even after this step, the company was left importing significant amounts of grid electricity. This will now be history during daylight hours when the new photovoltaic array is delivering its carbon free power.

Spencer Murtagh, operations director at Kingspan Insulation said: “The operations process will benefit from the installation of these PV panels. We had already made the production process and our lighting systems as efficient as possible, so this was the next logical step to reduce our demand from the National Grid.”

Kingspan Insulation carefully monitors energy consumption throughout the Pembridge site, by means of energy meters for gas and electricity, with increased sub-metering to monitor consumption in production areas, and this monitoring will readily provide useful information about the effectiveness of the PV array.


Wind of change

LDA Design, has been appointed by Dong Energy to undertake the Seascape, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments (SLVIAs) for the Burbo Bank and Walney wind farm extension sites, two of the four remaining Round 1 and 2 offshore extension sites identified by The Crown Estate.

The Burbo Bank extension site, covering an area of 40km2 and with a maximum capacity of approximately 250MW, lies off Liverpool Bay coast while the Walney extension site, which covers 149km2 and has a capacity of 750MW, is located approximately 15km off Walney Island, Cumbria, in the Irish Sea.

The Crown Estate originally awarded five extension sites in May 2010. However, only four sites are now being taken forward and LDA Design is delighted to be undertaking the SLVIA for the three largest of the remaining four sites.

LDA Design has also been working for developers SSE Renewables and RWE Npower Renewables on the proposed Galloper site located in the Thames Estuary. Galloper Wind Farm has a maximum capacity of 504MW covering an area of 174.9km2. LDA Design is also assisting with the landscape and visual assessment work associated with the onshore substations and grid connections for all three developments.

William Wheeler, director of wind energy, LDA Design said: "As part of our ongoing commitment to our offshore wind energy business we are delighted to have been appointed by Dong Energy to assist in delivering these important extension projects. We provide a wealth of assessment and associated services to help our clients plan, assess and deliver renewable energy projects."

Sustainable innovation

Reynaers Aluminium has played a significant part in the creation of one of the most sustainable office buildings in Europe by providing curtain walling systems, windows and doors for the new Severn Trent headquarters, in Coventry.

The seven-storey, 38m-high headquarters building, built by BAM Construction, with the help of £6.5 million from Advantage West Midlands and support from Coventry City Council, has one of the lowest carbon footprints for any UK office building.

Reynaers CS68 windows and Vision 50 doors were installed throughout the new development by Solaglas Contracting Midlands. Incorporating Reynaers three chamber system for improved thermal insulation, the windows and doors help to ensure heat retention and make the building more thermally efficient.

Webb Gray Architects specified Reynaers CW50 curtain walling system to facilitate maximum creative freedom in their original design proposals. This in turn produced eye catching and appealing aesthetics and also provided maximum natural light exposure into the building.

“This is one of the most exciting and innovative projects we’ve been involved in,” explains Paul Duffy, Reynaers head of UK sales. “By using our high insulation products such as CS68, they have managed to develop and build one of the most sustainable office buildings in the whole of Europe.

“This will hopefully demonstrate to other developers the type of environmental gains and cost savings that can be achieved by specifying Reynaers products from the outset.

“Reynaers Aluminium systems are specifically designed to blend high performance characteristics with eye-catching aesthetics, whilst at the same time keeping within budget.”

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Sustainable bunker

A former ROC 9 Group control bunker built into a steep wooded hillside in Yeovil has been successfully converted into a sustainable and highly energy efficient five-bedroomed home with the help of Total Home Environment.

The former group headquarters was constructed on the site of a Second World War base and was used as a practice bunker until 2001, when it was sold by the Ministry of Defence and later granted planning permission to convert the building into a domestic property in 2010.

The accommodation has been arranged on four levels, two underground within the existing bunker and a two-storey timber frame new build, erected by homeowner, Brian Lemmy.

After initially specifying and installing two GES Energy units from Total Home Environment it was found that due to changes on site the units would no longer provide sufficient ventilation to the property. One of the GES Energy units was then replaced with a GES Energy 2 ventilation appliance equipped with a counter-flow heat exchanger suitable for ventilation of living areas of up to 312m².

Total Home Environment worked with Brian Lemmy to resolve the initial problem quickly and professionally, as Brian explained: “Total Home Environment wasted no time in identifying the problem and supplying a more industrial system at no additional cost. The company performed with great honesty when it came to customer service and were superb in resolving the issue. I am delighted with the results.”

Prior to the conversion, the interior was left untouched and still contained signs of the building’s original function such as radiation warning signs and a ventilation system, dormitories and steel blast doors. Ventilation to the bunker was provided within a ventilation and filtration plant room with all the original ROC plant remaining in good condition including the main intake fan which drew air through the filters into the trunking system running through the bunker.

The original system and ducting has now been replaced with the high quality system from Total Home Environment, providing whole house ventilation with temperature efficiency and low energy consumption.

The GES Energy heat recovery ventilation and GES Energy 2 ventilation systems were required to provide good levels of ventilation and a degree of zoning within the converted building, one unit ventilates the top extension and the other provides ventilation to the lower floors. Both appliances are equipped with a counter-flow heat exchanger with a recovery rate of over 90%.

As the upper levels of the house are timber frame and maintain heat up to approximately 15°C, no heating has so far been required, however plans to install underfloor heating within the property to work alongside the GES Energy systems are to be carried out over the coming months.


Sustainability down under

High performance window and door hardware from Siegenia-Aubi has enabled the creation of innovative and sustainable window and doors in a stunning £multi-million new build scheme in the heart of Tasmania.

Work on the Saffire hotel and spa complex in an eleven-hectare site at the heart of the oldest national park in Tasmania was completed in June 2010. The scheme comprises 20 accommodation suites with a restaurant, lounge, boardroom, day spa and gymnasium.

The £21 million Saffire project is the brainchild of award-winning Tasmanian architects Morris Nunn and Associates – a firm renowned for adventurous design and ecologically sustainable architecture.

The buildings were designed to reflect their surrounding environment and evoke a connection to the sea. The glass used in the building has very low reflectivity, which allows residents to take in the stunning coastal setting both during the day and at night.

Siegenia-Aubi’s national sales manager, Alastair Wheeler, said: “Sustainability sits at the heart of this project, and it was vital that every product used in the building process would deliver the energy efficiency, performance and passive heat gain requirements for the finished buildings.

“Nothing has been overlooked – from construction management and long-term maintenance of the site to bushfire management, collection and conservation of rain water and the minimal use of night lighting.

“Insulation, glazing, energy efficient lighting, effective hot water usage and natural air flow systems ensure the building will be sustainable to run and maintain.”

Award-winning Australian joinery firm Paarhammer Windows and Doors was selected on the basis of its top energy ratings to supply and fit the 64 windows and doors for the project.

The Paarhammer team selected Siegenia-Aubi HS Portal, FS Portal and KFV hardware to create two lift and slide doors, a folding sliding door, a bi-fold window and 60 bespoke energy efficient pivot doors ranging up to 3m in height and created specifically for the Saffire project.

Co-owner Edith Paarhammer said: “Siegenia-Aubi hardware is perfect for a project such as this. As well as offering huge scope for creative design, there is a proven track record and peace of mind regarding top quality product performance that only an established market leading manufacturer can provide.

“The result is a beautiful hotel and spa complex with a whole host of sustainable features, which is sympathetic to its environment and has a minimal carbon footprint.”

Raining supreme

Stormsaver has announced a new project with the Natural Environment Research Council. The James Hutton Building is part of a £6.5 million development at the British Geological Survey’s (BGS) headquarters in Keyworth, Nottinghamshire.

The project will see the construction of a new two-storey office building for 100 scientific and administration staff, alongside the refurbishment of existing library accommodation. The refurbishment will provide a new main reception, conference and seminar facilities, a sales area and an exhibition space.

Stormsaver has been contracted by Hiltons building and services engineers to supply a 20,000 litre, pressurised rainwater harvesting system. The below ground system will collect approximately 840m3 of rainwater each year from the centre’s 1,164m2 roof area, which will be used for the flushing of 14 toilets and urinals. The system will result in annnual savings of over £1,100, as well as helping to considerably reduce mains water usage.

Alongside the Stormsaver rainwater harvesting system, the new office will have high exposed thermal mass to retain heat and mixed mode ventilation systems. The environmentally friendly features are intended to help achieve more than just a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and dramatically reduce energy usage.

Completion and opening of the development project is scheduled for spring 2012.


Carbon neutral investment

Stride Treglown architects are investing £65,000 in the installation on over 100m2 of photovoltaics on the roof and south facade of its new Cardiff Office to make it Carbon Neutral, believed to be the first privately funded office in the UK to do so.

This investment follows the building’s achievement as the first BREEAM Outstanding Office at design stage in the UK with the highest score achieved of 89.12% in October 2009.

Already performing well with building emissions some 40% less than current Building Regulations with a target of reaching zero, the building incorporates many energy saving features including a biomass boiler, high insulation standards, natural ventilation and a small array of photovoltaics.

This much larger array of photovoltaics will enable net carbon emissions resulting from energy consumed in the operation of their space heating /cooling, hot-water systems, ventilation and internal lighting to be zero or better.


Eco display

Wrekin Windows has a new range of sustainable windows and doors on display in Manchester’s pioneering eco-house project.

The eco-home project in Penzance Street, Manchester, features two terraced properties from the 1900s that Manchester City Council knocked together, re-developed and brought up to the standards of a new-build eco house, meeting BRE Ecohomes criteria.

The properties were in a poor state of disrepair and had ‘hard to heat’ solid wall construction, typical of the period but the work led to the property achieving a Very Good EcoHomes rating for this type of home.

Wrekin Windows’ latest window range is fabricated from Reco22, a 100% recycled window system, which achieves an ‘A+’ rating in the BRE Green Guide.

The double doors installed in the eco-house also feature a doorframe fabricated from Reco22,, which has an aesthetically appealing white woodgrain effect finish to complement the door leaf.

The eco-house was designed to showcase the concept of energy efficiency in a practical ‘hands on’ environment. Wrekin Windows had previously been involved in projects at Liverton Court, with Manchester Working and Northwards Housing, and the Manchester team were impressed with the Reco22 concept.

Available in a triple-glazed bead and featuring a centre pane U-value of as low as 0.8W/m2k, Wrekin Windows’ Reco22 windows and doors range delivers significant in-life energy and CO2 savings.

The Manchester eco house in Miles Platting showcases simple, everyday examples of how residents can reduce their energy consumption, with products ranging from low-energy light bulbs to solar-powered hot water and the improved insulation values and recycled content in the Wrekin Windows product range fit perfectly into this environment.

The Manchester eco house has also joined the 'Old Home Superhome' project – a national network of homes that are open to the public to show great examples of energy-efficient measures in action.

As a result of the refurbishment work, the Manchester City Council Energy Group calculated that both energy costs and CO2 emissions were cut substantially. In the case of Number 28, the carbon emissions fell from 5.2 to an estimated 2.2 tonnes per annum and the estimated fuel cost fell by over 50%.

John Williams, sales and marketing manager at Wrekin Windows, said: “The new Reco22 window range together with our commitment to a sustainable environment fits perfectly with the ideals of the eco-home in Manchester. We were delighted to work with the local teams and the City Council Energy Group to help drive forward the use of environmentally friendly products and services at a community level.”


£2M CESP contract

CMS Enviro Systems have been appointed by Lawtech to a £2m CESP (Community Energy Saving Programme) refurbishment contract in the Toryglen area of Glasgow.

As part of an extensive CESP refurbishment, the £2m contract sees CMS Enviro Systems supply and install ‘A’ rated energy efficient PVCU windows and doors to Thistle Housing Association housing stock.

The £20m energy efficiency and carbon reduction overhaul to properties includes: installation of energy efficient windows and doors; central heating upgrades; external wall insulation; air source heat pumps; and new solar roof panels. As well as the window and door replacement, the scope of work also includes the 100% recycling of all extracted windows and doors at the CMS recycling facilities in Fife.

Jamie Hepburn, MSP for Cumbernauld & Kilsyth also said: “If CMS and businesses like it are able to thrive, our local economy is given a welcome boost, and our local communities benefit directly.

“Moving to a low carbon economy is also a key priority of the Scottish Government; one which will see the development of low carbon goods, processes and jobs while vastly improving energy efficiency in our country. I am delighted to see a successful local employer making such an active contribution to this strategy.”

Largest free-field solar park

The Conergy Group has completed the UK’s largest solar power plant.

The 5MW free-field park is situated in Hawton, near Newark on Trent in Nottinghamshire. The fast-track project was built in cooperation with Conergy’s local partner Lark Energy and was completed only six weeks after receiving the planning consent on the 24 May 2011.

Conergy’s Robert Goss said: “The project was clearly a race against time to meet the deadline of 31 July 2011 – but we made it, even more than two weeks beforehand thanks to our brilliant solar expert team. The deadline was imposed by the recent review of the Feed in Tariff incentive payments for large-scale solar projects that are to be slashed by 72%. All parties showed great determination to support this exciting project which will be one of a very few large solar projects installed in 2011.”

The installation covers a total area of 14.6 hectares. 21,600 Conergy PowerPlus modules on approximately 40 kilometres of Conergy SolarLinea mounting systems were installed. Annually, the premium modules will produce 4,860 megawatt hours of clean electricity – enough to supply 1,300 homes.

The local residents supported the green project from the beginning. A community research conducted prior to the installation showed that 100% of the respondents generally favoured the idea of solar energy as a clean, renewable energy solution with no emissions. 92% of those who came to an open event in March 2011 supported the Hawton solar park. “I am sure in time this could be a major opportunity for renewable energy to prove to be a major benefit,” concluded one respondent.

In order to celebrate the successful completion of this project, there will be an inauguration event on Monday 01 August for the local community, media and other stakeholders.

“The Hawton park is yet another landmark project for Conergy in the series of their large free-field solar parks all over the world,” Robert Goss said. “With this park, our solar experts have shown that we are able to build large-scale projects also in the UK, even though our core business and focus is and will be on roof-top installations. This is due to the FiT cuts on the one hand and due to our product portfolio and experience ‘on the roof’ throughout Europe on the other hand.”

Council cut bills

As the country’s main energy suppliers are set to increase their prices by up to 20% this year, the City of Edinburgh Council is helping council tenants cut their household bills.

A modernisation programme totalling over £600,000 has provided a gas connection and a new and efficient gas central heating system for around 110 council houses in the Gateside area of Kirkliston.

The improvements will save the tenants of these homes around £500 a year in their energy bills.

A further 107 households in Kirkliston who have purchased their homes from the Council are also set to benefit as they have been offered a connection to the gas supply for a significantly discounted rate.

Councillor Norman Work, Vice Convener of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Housing Committee and local ward councillor, welcomed the investment. He said: “The residents in Gateside have campaigned for many years to have gas installed in their homes and this Council has listened to their pleas by getting a supply put in.

“This could not have come at a better time for many families as in the current economic climate some people are finding it very hard to pay their bills. In some cases, people are torn between paying bills and putting food on the table.

“One major supplier has already announced a sharp increase in prices with others set to follow. This is the kind of investment that makes a real difference to people’s lives, as well as making a contribution to cutting carbon emissions.”

Fiona Alexander, who lives in Maitland Hog Lane, has benefited from the new central heating system. She said: “The new central heating system has been great because we used to have these old electric storage heaters which weren’t good at all because they just ate your money!

“In fact they were quite horrendous but now it’s now much warmer and I’ve really noticed an improvement with my bills.”


Bright start

GML Construction has helped provide a bright new start for pupils at Dulwich Village Church of England Infants School with a new classroom extension that features an ultra modern interior of brightly striped walls, contemporary ceramic tiles, bespoke furniture and light wells.

The £350,000 design and build scheme involved collaboration between GML Construction and the school. To help foster an excitement to learn, the school has pushed for an ultra modern interior, designed to provide an inspiring and engaging learning environment for their pupils.

The twin classroom block replaces an existing building and externally features a brick skin and a part flat and part pitched roof with sedum green roof covering and featuring traditional slates. A living green sedum roof is also incorporated within the flat construction. The brick skin and slates were chosen to meet planning requirements by maintaining the aesthetic to the rest of the school. Internally the building is very different however. For maximum energy efficiency, the building also features high performance insulation and windows.

To provide as much natural light as possible in the building, GML Construction has designed a central corridor that features light wells. These bring daylight flooding into the centre of the new space and along with the windows ensure ample natural light.


90% energy reduction

The Rehau Awadukt Thermo ground-air heat exchanger has been installed in only the third office in the UK to be fully certified to Passivhaus standard.

The new £1.5m East Midlands regional office for Interserve Construction in Syston, Leicestershire features some of the most advanced green building solutions to achieve a targeted 90% reduction in energy usage and costs compared with a traditional building.

Because Passivhaus construction focuses on making the building as well insulated and air tight as possible, specifying the right ventilation solution is essential. In conjunction with environmental building services consultants Couch Perry & Wilkes, Interserve chose the Rehau Awadukt Thermo system because it was appropriate for the compact site and was more cost effective than a borehole solution.

The two storey building will provide 680m² of accommodation. A 21m x 12m pipework array has been laid adjacent to the building beneath ground which will eventually become the car park. 250m of Rehau’s DN200mm collector pipework has been installed at an average depth of 2m along with 24m of DN400mm header pipe to deliver tempered ventilation air into the building pre-cooled in summer and pre-warmed in winter.

The grid feeds directly into a plant room located at one end of the building where it is connected to a MVHR unit before the air is distributed around the building.

The Rehau Awadukt Thermo system uses the natural temperature of the earth at a depth of 2m to pre-warm or pre-cool incoming air. Optimised polypropylene pipework maximises the heat transfer which takes place so that in summer incoming air can be cooled by up to 14º C and in winter it can be warmed by as much as 9º C, achieving a Coefficient of Performance of around 20.

The system has particular benefits for an air tight building such as this one because it incorporates an integrated antimicrobial layer made from silver particles which eliminates the risk of microbial growth or musty smells.

The new building has no gas fired space heating and relies for its heat on solar gain from its south facing aspect and from the tempered air delivered via the Awadukt Thermo and MVHR systems.

A small heat pump is in place to provide additional warmth in winter if required.

Rehau has also provided the triple-glazed fenestration solution for the building with 27 of its new Rehau Geneo windows installed across the south of the building. These Passivhaus certified windows achieve a U-value of just 0.8W/m2K using a six-chamber system extruded from a new high-tech fibre composite material branded Rau-Fipro.

The new building has been constructed using highly insulated blocks with concrete infil, pre-cast concrete beams to provide some additional tempering, and is clad in timber to increase the insulation performance.


Chilling news

Energy savings of 55% have been achieved following replacement of existing cooling plant with new Turbomiser chillers at Colt Technology’s West London data centre facility.

Monitoring of power consumption by the client shows that after the installation of Turbomiser chillers, annual power consumption fell by more than half.

The award-winning Turbomiser chiller was developed by UK based companies Cool-Therm and Klima-Therm, working in collaboration with Italian manufacturer Geoclima. Following the results, Cool-Therm is continuing to support Colt and reports achieving even greater power savings at other sites operated by the company.

The results from the first phase of the project demonstrate the exceptional performance and efficiency of Turbomiser chillers, which run on virtually frictionless magnetic bearings.

Colt has also been able to improve reliability and lower maintenance costs.

Colt Data Centre Services asked Cool-Therm to provide a turnkey package, matching the existing data centre cooling load and maintaining cooling to the centre at all times during the changeover.

After consultation with Colt, Cool-Therm advised that operation of all six chillers together would gain maximum compressor efficiency under inverter control, at the same time achieving maximum condenser efficiency due to the use of all heat exchanger surfaces to reject heat.

The same logic was applied to the chilled water evaporators. Chilled water temperatures into and out of the data centre were increased from 6/12 deg. C under the original design, to 8/14 deg. C, further improving efficiency.

A monitoring system was put in place to measure energy consumption against the previous system.

Guy Ruddock, VP Operations, Colt Data Centres Services, said: “We are working with Cool-Therm to further enhance efficiency in our data centres, which contributes to Colt’s commitment to continual innovation to provide significant environmental and cost benefits for our customers.

“The energy efficiency expertise and experience gained in pursuit of this goal is now being applied across the Colt estate by local teams.”


Milking waste production

A Devonshire dairy has officially opened a £3.4m anaerobic digestion (AD) facility that will turn food waste from around the county into the energy helping to produce its clotted cream, ice cream crème fraiche and yoghurt.

The facility at Langage Farm, Plymouth, received £1.2m of funding from the Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme and was opened by Lord Henley, Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on Friday 1 July.

By the end of its first year of operation, the AD facility will process 12,000 tonnes of food waste collected from households across the county by local authorities. The facility will also process on-farm dairy wastes, converting these fuels into renewable heat and electricity.

The renewable energy will not only power the dairy products production, but also export surplus energy to the National Grid. In its first five years, the Langage AD facility expects to produce 20,000 MW of energy saving the equivalent of 2,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Lord Henley said: “The facility at Langage Farm is an excellent working example of how a localised closed loop economy can be created.

“Food waste that otherwise would have gone to landfill will instead be used to produce the energy that will power much of the production process here on the farm, helping to produce award winning clotted cream, ice cream and yoghurt.”

Marcus Gover, director of organics and energy from waste at WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), believes the market, including investors, developers and end users, should be confident of AD as a reliable, safe and profitable resource efficiency process. “AD is a growing part of the resource efficiency solution, capable of diverting biodegradable waste from landfill, creating renewable energy, stimulating the green economy and improving the sustainability of commercial agriculture,” he said. “We really see it as a huge opportunity for the UK.”