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Green warehouse beats energy saving estimates
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An innovative green warehouse built for the Wine Society at Stevenage in Hertfordshire has exceeded the projected energy saving, despite last years severe winter, and has been shortlisted for an award. Architects Vincent and Gorbing say their distribution warehouse has been shortlisted for a national RICS award, in the Sustainability category. Judging and the final decision will take place next month.
Green warehouse beats energy saving estimates

Meanwhile the services engineers, MLM, have now completed a full year's monitoring of actual energy consumption which shows a dramatic reduction in energy costs from the thermal model they had developed at the start of the project, despite the extreme winter weather earlier this year.

To summarise the various reductions which have been achieved:
Gas consumption was predicted to be 384,948 kWh per annum; actual consumption was 52,628 kWh.
Electricity consumption was predicted to be 358,961 kWh per annum; actual consumption was 295,490 kWh.

These reductions translate to a total saving in CO2 of just over 90 tonnes and a cost saving of over 15,000 per annum. Extrapolated over the projected 40 year life of the building, these savings become very significant!

The building is already very energy efficient compared to a traditionally constructed warehouse. It is the first building of its type in the UK to use off site construction techniques involving pre-formed wall panels of the energy saving material Tradical Hemcrete. The architects were commissioned in early 2007 to design additional wine storage facilities for the society to cope with recent growth and future demand. The first phase is now complete, providing 3250m of wine storage accommodation.

Mark Chandler, Architect and Director said: The design responds to the requirement for minimal heating and cooling equipment with a resultant reduction in energy consumption. This is principally achieved by the use of the exterior wall cladding material Hemcrete which offers excellent insulation properties and maintains a stable internal air temperature throughout hot summers and cold winters. Wine is best stored at between 13C-16C and will only accept slow temperature variations.

The storage of large volumes of wine at a low temperature provides an excellent source of thermal mass which contributes to the steady-state environment. The thermal mass of wine is insulated by the wall cladding.The use of this material, which is a mixture of hemp stalk grown in the UK and lime, provides a way of locking up CO2, substantially reducing the embodied carbon of the structure.

The steel truss framed building provides structural support for the large prefabricated Hemcrete panels. The warehouse is naturally lit by the use of Kalwall, a glass fibre insulating panel which offers up to 50% light transmission. The combination of internal Hemcrete wall panels, exterior composite panels, Kalwall and a highly insulated roofing system provides an insulated internal space which exceeds current building regulations.

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