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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
Are the UK Governments Plans for the Energy Sector Smart?
The revolution in the energy sector marches on, wind turbines and solar panels are harnessing more renewable energy than ever before – so where is it all leading?
The UK government have recently announced plans to modernise the way we produce, store and use electricity. And, if realised, the plans could be just the thing to bring the energy sector in line with 21st century technology and ideologies.
Central to the plans is an initiative that will see smart meters installed in homes and businesses the length and breadth of the country – and their aim? To create an environment where electricity can be managed more efficiently.
The news has prompted some speculation about how energy suppliers will react and many are predicting a price war. This could benefit consumers of electricity and investors, many of whom may be looking to make a profit by trading energy company shares online using platforms such as Oanda – but the potential for good news doesn’t end there.
Introducing New Technology
The plan, titled Smart Systems and Flexibility is being rolled out in the hope that it will have a positive impact in three core areas.
- To offer consumers greater control by making smart meters available for all homes and businesses by 2020. Energy users will be able to monitor, control and record the amount of energy they use.
- Incentivise energy suppliers to change the manner in which they buy electricity, to offer more smart tariffs and more off-peak periods for energy consumption.
- Introduce new standards for electrical appliances – it is hoped that the new wave of appliances will recognise when electricity is at its cheapest and at its most expensive and respond accordingly.
How the Plans Will Affect Solar Energy
Around 7 million houses in the UK have solar panels and the government say that their plan will benefit them as they will be able to store electricity on batteries. The stored energy can then be used by the household and excess energy can be exported to the national grid – in this instance lower tariffs or even payment for the excess energy will bring down annual costs significantly.
The rate of return on energy exported to the national grid is currently between 6% and 10%, but there are many variables to take into account, such as, the cost of battery storage and light levels. Still, those with state-of-the-art solar electricity systems could end up with an annual profit after selling their excess energy.
The Internet of Things
Much of what the plans set out to achieve are linked to the now ubiquitous “internet of things” – where, for example, appliances and heating systems are connected to the internet in order to make them function more smartly.
Companies like Hive have already made great inroads into this type of technology, but the road that the government plans are heading down, will, potentially, go much further -blockchain technology looms and has already proved to be a game changer in the world of currency.
It has already been suggested that the peer to peer selling of energy and exporting it to the national grid may eventually be done using blockchain technology.
“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Don and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution (2016)
The upshot of the government’s plans for the revolution of the energy sector, is that technology will play an indelible role in making it more efficient, more flexible and ultimately more sustainable.
4 Case Studies on the Benefits of Solar Energy
Demand for solar energy is growing at a surprising rate. New figures from SolarPower Europe show that solar energy production has risen 50% since the summer of 2016.
However, many people are still skeptical of the benefits of solar energy.Does it actually make a significant reduction in our carbon footprint? Is it actually cost-effective for the company over the long-run?
A number of case studies have been conducted, which indicate solar energy can be enormously beneficial. Here are some of the most compelling studies on the subject.
1. Boulder Nissan
When you think of companies that leverage solar power, car dealerships probably aren’t the first ones that come to mind. However, Boulder Nissan is highly committed to promoting green energy. They worked with Independent Power Systems to setup a number of solar cells. Here were the results:
- Boulder Nissan has reduced coal generated electricity by 65%.
- They are on track to run on 100% renewable energy within the next 13 years.
- Boulder Nissan reduced CO2 emissions by 416,000 lbs. within the first year after installing their solar panels.
This is one of the most impressive solar energy case studies a small business has published in recent years. It shows that even small companies in rural communities can make a major difference by adapting solar energy.
2. Valley Electric Association
In 2015, the Valley Electric Association (VEA) created an 80-acre solar garden. Before retiring from the legislature, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid praised the new project as a way to make the state more energy dependent and reduce our carbon footprint.
“This facility will provide its customers with the opportunity to purchase 100 percent of their electricity from clean energy produced in Nevada,” Reid told reporters with the Pahrump Valley Times. “That’s a step forward for the Silver State, but it also proves that utilities can work with customers to provide clean renewable energy that they demand.”
The solar energy that VEA produced was drastically higher than anyone would have predicted. SolarWorld estimates that the solar garden created 32,680,000 kwh every year, which was enough to power nearly 4,000 homes.
This was a major undertaking for a purple state, which may inspire their peers throughout the Midwest to develop solar gardens of their own. It will reduce dependency on the electric grid, which is a problem for many remote states in the central part of the country.
3. Las Vegas Casinos
A number of Las Vegas casinos have started investing in solar panels over the last couple of years. The Guardian reports that many of these casinos have cut costs considerably. Some of them are even selling the energy back to the grid.
“It’s no accident that we put the array on top of a conference center. This is good business for us,” Cindy Ortega, chief sustainability officer at MGM Resorts told Guardian reporters. “We are looking at leaving the power system, and one of the reasons for that is we can procure more renewable energy on the open market.”
There have been many benefits for casinos using solar energy. They are some of the most energy-intensive institutions in the world, so this has helped them become much more cost-effective. It also helps minimize disruptions to their customers learning online keno strategies in the event of any problems with the electric grid.
4. Boston College
Boston College has been committed to many green initiatives over the years. A group of researchers experimented with solar cells on different parts of the campus to see where they could produce the most electricity. They discovered that the best locationwas at St. Clement’sHall. The solar cells there dramatically. It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 521,702 lbs. a year and be enough to save 10,869 trees.
Boston College is exploring new ways to expand their usage of solar cells. They may be able to invest in more effective solar panels that can generate far more solar energy.
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