Sustainability in the Built Environment dominates Guardian Sustainable Business Award winners:
At British Land – winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business built environment award:
As the relationship with Camden council shows, British Land takes its corporate responsibility seriously and this is reflected in the goals for Regent’s Place. From design to construction, the project team has been expected to apply the highest standards of ISO 14001 certified sustainability brief for developments. As a consequence, all the new office buildings have Breeam “excellent” sustainability ratings.
From fit-out to property maintenance the developer has worked with occupiers and on-site teams to use natural resources efficiently, with a waste guide and sustainability brief for management – leading to 8% less like-for-like energy use since April 2010.
When the masterplan is complete, the Regent’s Place estate will double in size, providing 2m sq ft of office, retail and residential space for 14,000 workers and residents. What an opportunity, then, for a showcase site with sustainability at its core.
At Sainsbury’s – winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business energy award:
Crayford Sainsbury’s biggest UK store … is a breakthrough project – the first time a UK supermarket has used the so-called geo-exchange system to tap natural geo-thermal energy trapped deep under the ground.
At the heart of the system is an advanced ground-source heat pump that is linked to boreholes that capture and store waste heat from the store. This is released, when needed, to provide heat and hot water for the store and on-demand cooling for refrigeration.
Most importantly, it has allowed the supermarket group to increase the size of the store with no increase in either energy use or carbon emissions. The expanded store has exactly the same footprint as the smaller store it replaces.
As such, Crayford provides a blueprint for the UK’s second biggest grocer as it plots its future store development. The system will be used on several new and redeveloped stores now being planned.
At Tescos: winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business carbon award:
An all-timber new look store in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, is meanwhile creating a zero-carbon template for future store development at home and abroad.
A range of new technologies is being tested, including sun-pipe lighting, renewable combined heat and power (CHP), harvested rainwater to flush toilets and run carwashes, the first ever LED car park lighting system and on-site renewable energy production. Similar stores in the Czech Republic and Thailand will be built in the coming months.
Some 614 UK stores have also been fitted with electronic energy boards showing staff at all levels, and in real time, if their store is operating in an energy efficient way and suggesting ways to improve the results.
The Livingston distribution centre in Scotland will soon be equipped with a six megawatt CHP plant, while the California distribution centre has one of the largest roof-mounted solar installations in North America.
at InterfaceFLOR – winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business waste and recycling award:
In 1995 InterfaceFLOR, a carpet tile and commercial flooring company, launched mission zero, a promise to eliminate all of its negative environmental impacts by 2020.
Born from an “epiphany” that founder and chairman Ray Anderson had on reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce, the mission moved the company away from the “take, make, waste” cycle of manufacturing towards a more sustainable business model.
The path to mission zero is made up of seven clear and ambitious goals, ranging from eliminating waste and using wholly renewable energy to maximising recycling and using resource-efficient transport.
For InterfaceFLOR, eliminating waste meant eliminating the concept of waste, not just incrementally reducing it. Recycling is seen as a last resort and only considered in cases where waste cannot be prevented or reused in any way. It’s an approach the judges thought eminently replicable.
At Capgemini – short-listed for the Guardian Sustainable Business built environment award.
Capgemini has established a new approach for building energy efficient data centres. Rather than build from scratch, it has used an existing building ‘shell’ and populated it with prefabricated modules, similar to those used as mobile hospitals by the British army in Afghanistan.
This in itself minimises the environmental impact that would come with a new-build project and cuts development time from 18 months to just 22 weeks.
Merlin aims to achieve a step-change in every aspect – from the smart engineering of the building to the use of many innovative features, such as fresh-air cooling, battery-free uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and use of recyclable or reusable materials.
The key feature is the cooling system, which combines fresh air and pre-evaporative cooling. It is set up to ensure the tightest possible real-time control of temperature, humidity and air-flow at minimum energy cost.
Merlin includes new “flywheel technology” in its UPS system, with kinetic energy replacing high-carbon batteries.