West Somerset Council Offices Win Grade A Rating
|Published: 19th August 2010 08:23|
West Somerset Council's new offices in Williton have been given the highest A rating on its Energy Performance Certificate. The building is saving the council over 81 tonnes of carbon and more than £18,000 in energy costs every year.
Cllr Chris Morgan, West Somerset Council's Lead Member for the Environment, said: "The intelligent management systems and green technologies used have, and are having, a significant effect in reducing our carbon emissions, and have a beneficial ‘knock on' effect on the environment.
"We are serious in our commitment to energy conservation, and to achieve an A rating demonstrates that we really are determined to reduce our impact on our precious and, I believe, threatened environment."
The building features:
- a building management system that has intelligent software to enable energy use to be controlled and monitored. The software 'learns' the optimum levels such as room temperatures, lighting levels and carbon monoxide levels and automatically adjusts the controls of the heating, lighting and ventilation systems to minimise unnecessary energy use
- solar thermal panels to capture daylight and heat hot water
- solar shading panels on the south side of the building to reduce overheating in hot weather
- a passive ventilation system instead of traditional air-conditioning which uses natural airflow throughout to cool the building in summer, and high level louvres to release hot air overnight and to circulate warm air throughout the building in winter
- a rainwater harvesting tank to capture rainwater and use it for flushing the toilet facilities instead of using mains water
- intelligent lighting which senses when people enter rooms and turns on the lighting
- a biomass boiler to heat the building where wood pellets are burnt to generate heat in winter
Cllr Tim Taylor, Leader of the Council, said: "With rising energy prices, the current £18,000 annual fuel saving is set to become a larger saving every year, which can only be good for the taxpayer as well as the environment.
"Previously, only one out of our eight buildings was fully accessible for people with mobility problems. That simply was not acceptable. We have centralised the majority of staff in one place and our offices are now compliant with disability laws, which means that all customers, staff and members enjoy the same rights of access.
"We are also making big savings as we are not having to maintain so many ageing buildings. Some would have required major work to bring them up to scratch while there would have been little option than to demolish others due to their very poor condition and age. Overall, the new offices are generating savings over and above fuel alone."