EvoEnergy, a multi-award winning expert in commercial rooftop solar installations, has provided a solar array for London’s newly-redeveloped South Bank Tower. The Tower will now be able to power its 193 luxury apartments, shops, restaurants and bars by using energy from sunlight. The 1970s skyscraper, which used to called King’s Reach Tower before it was rebranded, was once home to IPC Magazines, one of the biggest publishing companies in Europe.
After being derelict for almost ten years, it’s now been transformed into luxury apartments, 370,000ft² of office space and 72,000ft² retail space – complete with a 100-panel, 26 kWp PV system on top. Another 11 floors were added to the building during the process, taking it up to 42 storeys in total (155m).
The system, developed and fitted by Nottinghamshire-based EvoEnergy, comprises 50 Solarworld 260 panels on the 41st floor and 50 on the 42nd, making it one of the highest solar installations in the UK. It is expected to generate 22,400 kWh per annum; saving the tower around 11,850 kg of CO2.
James Fuller, project manager at EvoEnergy, said: “Getting a solar system on top of a building this high is a complex process; it brings different challenges to an installation, on say, a two or three storey building. There’s a lot of planning to be done around the logistics of the project, and once you’re up there you’re having to contend with the ever-changing British weather – there were a few times we had to stop working due to the high winds.
“The finished solar system looks fantastic and really complements the building’s new, modern look. Not only is it going to help reduce the tower’s annual energy costs, it’s also an attractive feature which may appeal to those looking for eco-friendly features in their new home.”
South Bank Tower is nestled in-between two iconic bridges: Blackfriars and Waterloo, and forms part of the on-going regeneration of South Bank. It has been developed by CIT, a London-based private and independent real estate investor and developer and Jadwa, an investment bank based in Saudi Arabia.
EvoEnergy was awarded the work by construction contractors Mace Group, who the firm has worked with since 2011.
Shaun Tate, Mace project director, said: “It’s very important to Mace that we use sustainable and energy efficient methods whenever possible so using solar power technology on this innovative, modern building just seemed like the right fit. We have to think about the end users of the buildings that we build so this will benefit the residents of South Bank Tower and I’m very proud of what the whole team has achieved here.”
Steve Riddell, director of developments at CIT, added: “CIT is very pleased with the completed South Bank Tower. Everyone who worked on the project delivered a very complex construction project which entails extensive re-use of existing structures, basement construction adjacent to 100 occupied flats, new built construction and an 11 storey extension of an existing 31 storey tower. It also includes mixed uses – office, retail and 193 luxury flat that will benefit its energy efficient model.”
Residents at South Bank Tower can enjoy facilities including a supermarket, shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, gymnasium, private cinema room, children’s play area and 24 hour concierge service. Prices start at £1.8 million for a two-bed apartment.
EvoEnergy has previously installed a 250-panel, 50 kWp solar system on top of London’s 38-storey ‘Walkie Talkie’ skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
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?
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.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!