A new two-storey Stores Building is replacing existing accommodation on the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) campus near Weybridge. It has primary storage and goods-in and -out areas located on the ground floor, for reasons of structural loading and accessibility, with the lighter loads of the box stores, office, lockers and rest room on the first floor.
The building has been designed for compact and economical space use and circulation flow in a minimum rectangular envelope. This achieves both a reduced volume of heated space in the building (and so of energy demand) and a reduced external surface area from which heat energy can be lost.
The Stores Building was commissioned by the Department of environment, food and rural affairs (Defra), as part of a wider redevelopment of the campus. The project was BREEAM assessed in accordance with Defra's policy of achieving the highest environmental targets for developments on its estate.
The project performed very well across all categories with the top scoring categories being:
The client set out the objectives for this project from the very first briefing meetings and was emphatic in aiming for the highest achievable green strategy.
As part of earlier initiatives for Defra, the design team had reviewed more than 30 possible options for environmentally sustainable improvements that could be used on the VLA campus redevelopment. This allowed them to quickly assess and incorporate the most appropriate elements into the new Stores Building during the briefing and design stages, so these were fully integrated into the design and not considered as later ‘add-ons'.
This approach also enabled the maximum synergy between mutually contributing elements - e.g. water storage/ storm water attenuation/reduction of above and below ground drainage/optimisation of site area - giving added value to the BREEAM elements.
"BREEAM certification is a recognised measure of success for all Defra projects where the quality and sustainability of the environment is a stated objective. Also, the knowledge that the environmental targets have been assessed and met, whilst providing a building that can function efficiently with cost effective systems, stimulates a feeling of wellbeing and satisfaction with their workplace for both the building's owner and occupants."
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