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Land Rover BAR Lead the Way in Sustainable Sport

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Land Rover by altotemi via Flickr

Land Rover BAR are speeding ahead in their goal to become the UK’s most sustainable professional sports team, now believed to be the first professional British sports team to operate from a BREEAM Excellent building.

The team’s new 74,000sq.ft waterfront home on Camber Quay received the accolade this week from the world’s leading arbiters of sustainable architecture. Used in more than 70 countries, BREEAM have issued more than 530,000 certificates on more than 24,000 projects around the world, and over 2.2 million buildings and communities are registered for certification.

Simon Guy from BREEAM commented, “Congratulations to Land Rover BAR achieving a first in the sailing world with the BREEAM Excellent rating for the Camber Quay HQ. BREEAM is an international standard that rewards exceptional sustainable design and construction – a real recognition of a strong vision and team effort from all concerned.”

The team have already seen their operations awarded the Olympic-inspired international standard, ISO 20121, providing a framework for delivery of sustainable operations throughout the team’s activities. Land Rover BAR is the only sports team in the UK to achieve the certification across all its activities. Now it has added to this accolade by achieving BREEAM Excellent standard.

The team takes its responsibility for addressing the issue of climate change seriously, and reducing carbon emissions through the design and build of their team base is just one element of their commitment to sustainability. Working alongside their Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing, and with the help of Land Rover, BT and Low Carbon, they are committed to becoming the most sustainable sports team in the UK, and these two achievements set the team on the right path.

Jeremy Pochman, President of 11th Hour Racing commented, “We are proud of Land Rover BAR’s achievements and progress across the board of their sustainability strategy, which is highlighted in the team’s headquarters.

The team’s base is a true testament to innovation, technology, long-term vision and sustainability – all elements that are integral to the mission of 11th Hour Racing.

“By investing in such a progressive structure, Land Rover BAR have demonstrated how smart sustainable design and construction can lead to enormous gains in terms of efficiency – not only as far as energy, but also at a competitive and sporting level. For 11th Hour Racing, this milestone of BREEAM excellent standard represents an unprecedented success story, and a legacy that will inspire the next generation of sailors, engineers, architects and fans across the world of sport.”

Opened in June 2015, the building contains many sustainability features.

Renewable Energy

“This project has exciting implications for renewable energy. Because the Land Rover BAR philosophy is about educating and engaging locally, the project will be a fantastic showcase for how large buildings can be sustainable,” says Roy Bedlow, Founder and CEO, Low Carbon (Land Rover BAR’s renewable energy partner).

·         Low Carbon installed 432 Solar panels on 100% of the available roof space.

·         Solar panels generate 130 Mwh/yr and 20% of our energy.

·         Remaining electricity supplied by renewable sources.

Ecology

“The team have made a particular effort with this site to provide ecological enhancements that are suitable for the habitat and marine environment in which the site is situated, demonstrating a long term commitment to establishing a locally relevant enhancement of the species diversity of the site, using best practice and marine ecosystem conservation management,” Tony Blunden, Ecologist, Aluco Ecology Ltd.

·         69 new species now find their home on the site, compared to eight prior to the development of the building.

·         Oysters were saved from a dredge site and relocated to 9m2 of protected oyster beds hosted on the team’s pontoon developed in partnership with our marina partner MDL Marinas to help restart a viable population of oysters in the Solent region.

The Atrium

“One of our favourite parts of the building is the Atrium; it allows a direct source of daylight to filter through from the top floor down through all levels to the heart of the workshop. It is also used to draw air up through the building, releasing it through glazed louvres to help regulate internal temperatures; all while providing visual interest and physical connection between the various functions and teams within the building,” Vivienne Conway, architects, HGP Architects.

·         Natural ventilation through the central atrium eliminates the need for a mechanical ventilation system.

·         All offices have direct access to natural daylight, reducing the demand for interior artificial light.

The Wrap

“A gigantic fabric wrap has been applied to much of the building façade, its translucency will still admit natural light to the interior, while reducing solar glare. It provides a layer of insulation, protecting the building fabric and retaining heat in winter like a coat,” Phil Ward, environmental consultants, Couch Perry Wilkes.

·         A heat saving air cushion of approximately 4-5 degrees around the building.

·         The fabric controls the amount of sunlight that enters the building, reducing energy used for cooling and so reduces the carbon emissions.

Energy

Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?

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sustainable wood burning ideas

Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?

Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.

Is Biofuel Green?

One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.

Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?

Homegrown Technology

Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.

Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.

Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.

Benefits Of Biomass

The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.

Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.

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Energy

7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees

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As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.

After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:

Financial Advising

One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.

Life Insurance

While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.

Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies

Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.

The Ability To Work Remotely

It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.

Health Insurance

Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.

Unlimited Time Off

This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.

A Full Pantry

Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.

Final Thoughts

Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!

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