From EV to PV – How we’re pioneering sustainble new places for I&L occupiers

All this week we’re focusing on the Industrial and Logistics (I&L) part of our business – with a team that’s currently onsite delivering more than 1.25m sq ft of new industrial space.

Today we meet Mark Evans, who is helping HBD stay ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability. In this article, Mark talks about the pioneering initiatives on our I&L schemes, and the challenges ahead.

We’ve always been a forward-thinking organisation, with a track record of investing in new ideas, materials and methods to help keep our HBD places sustainable. In our I&L portfolio, that means constant innovation, ensuring that our projects meet BREEAM Excellent and a minimum EPC A rating.

A Net Zero Carbon future

But we’re always looking at elevating ourselves in a crowded field and that’s why we’re prioritising other new ways of doing this – aiming for Net Zero Carbon on our future I&L schemes.

That means investing in Net Zero Carbon construction methods and using more low carbon materials low carbon concrete, energy efficient lighting, high recycled content in carpets and tiling, and recycled blockwork. We’re also making things easier for occupiers who want to operate as sustainably as possible when the building is in use, adding PV panels and EV chargers.

On a project such as Momentum in London, where HBD along with joint venture partner Barings is delivering 380,000 sq ft of high spec warehouse space. Working with our designers we have calculated an overall construction carbon saving of 3,770 tonnes, and we are generating the equivalent of 480,000 miles per annum of CO2 free journeys by utilising full roof PV coverage.

The challenges ahead

An aspiration for Net Zero Carbon does however come with its challenges. A shift in requirements of both funding partners and occupiers means an organisation like HBD needs to find designers and contractors capable of delivering – we need a supply chain with both the aspiration and, critically, the expertise for our projects to achieve these ambitions.

An energy efficient future

I do think that HBD is ahead of the curve and there are some great examples in our pipeline of developments that will raise standards for the sector, but we can’t stand still.

We need to continue to invest and find even better ways of doing things. We must also ensure that the I&L spaces we create meet the needs of end users, especially when it comes to prevailing macroeconomic issues – notably energy bills.

Energy output is of huge concern to occupiers right now and we want to ensure their workplace helps the planet and their pocket. At Rainham, that means more PV panels; recent buildings tend to feature PV panels covering about 10% of their roof space, whereas we will be covering the whole of the roof of each building at Rainham to generate more electricity for occupiers. In fact, the output will be so high here that the electricity from the roof will be able to charge every car in the site’s 57 planned EV car charging spaces.

It’s one of many new ideas that we hope to bring forward as we push boundaries and create I&L spaces that work for now and for the future.