The G.Park Blue Planet business/distribution park in Chatterley Valley, Staffordshire, has been awarded the first ever BREEAM outstanding rating

Designed by Chetwood Architects for Gazeley UK, and just completed, the 35,500m2 park is projected to save up to £300,000 a year in running costs as a result of the environmental features of its design. It achieves lighting and power savings of 49% compared with a conventional distribution building; heating energy savings of 68%; and water savings of 60% (726,000 litres a year).

G.Park is the culmination of Chetwood’s investigative design work into creating an eco-template for distribution centres. A raft of affordable environmental measures include ETFE roof lights with inbuilt photovoltaic cells; a south-facing solar attractor wall; a biomass plant; and kinetic plate technology, which harvests energy from vehicles entering the site via hydraulics embedded into the road.

The main warehouse, which cost £21 million, is shrouded by a vast low-pitched roof. Its south wall is a darker colour, to absorb heat from the sun. This free heat is collected, fed into a plenum and redistributed throughout the interior. The biomass plant will also provide heat and energy for the completed buildings and future developments on the site, with enough left over to export to 3100 nearby homes.

Most of materials used in the buildings are either A or A+ rated in BRE Global’s Green Guide to Specification. The offices are clad with FSC-approved western red cedar. Materials were sourced locally wherever possible and no excavated material was exported from the site.

Now that the development is operational, a zero waste to landfill strategy is in place: any waste generated is recycled.

The 21ha brownfield site is being landscaped to create different types of habitat, including a watercourse zone – which takes run-off from the main building – and a woodland zone. Both areas are open to the public and new links are being created to existing canal-side walks.

Paul Gibbon, director of sustainability at BRE Global, said: “Obtaining the first ever BREEAM outstanding is a remarkable achievement. This development scored very highly in all sections of BREEAM and achieved exemplary credits in the key areas of daylighting, reduced CO2 emissions, construction waste management and use of low carbon technologies. What is more, the development shows that achieving a high BREEAM standard means lower running costs.”