Filwood Green Business Park: Creating 40% less carbon

Bristol City Council achieves 'Highly Commended’ at the 2014 BREEAM Awards for Filwood Green Business Park. Here's why.

Winner in the 2degrees Champions Awards 2015

The background

Located in Knowle West, one of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, the Filwood Green Business Park is a focus for regeneration and enterprise in South Bristol. The idea of a ‘green’ business park came from local residents involved in developing the long term Knowle West Regeneration Framework and it is a physical representation of their aspirations for the future.

The brownfield site had contained an aircraft hangar (Whitchurch airport closed in the 1950’s) which had left an area of concrete hard standing, asbestos contaminated soil and the possibility of unexploded ordnance dating from WW2. There was also Japanese Knotweed.

The economic downturn meant that a private sector developer was unlikely to take forward the project so Bristol City Council stepped in. Securing European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and a loan from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership’s Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF) enabled construction to start in February 2014.

What did we do

Working with the Homes & Communities Agency (owners of the site) BCC appointed a Design Team (see below) with a track record in sustainable projects. An Enquiry by Design process, recognised as an example of Planning Excellence by the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2013, involved local people in developing the outline plans.

Local stakeholders were again involved in a Design Charette to produce the final layout and form of the business park, with their ideas such as a green roof

Through OJEU procedures a local construction firm was contracted to build the business park, with the benefit that many of the workers and sub-contractors have been able to walk to the site. The project has already created over 20 new jobs and provided training opportunities / apprenticeships for local people. A project has been set up to provide new low carbon and refurbished furniture for the business park.

The result

Having achieved BREEAM Outstanding at Design stage in October 2013, Filwood Green Business Park was ‘Highly Commended’ at the 2014 BREEAM Awards.

The building aims to achieve a 40% CO2 reduction, saving the equivalent emissions of 276 double decker buses annually.

The design team have addressed the so-called ‘performance gap’ whereby buildings designed as low carbon fail to meet expectations when in operation by including: real-time displays of energy usage in the reception area; a tenants’ guide explaining how all services should be operated effectively; a system to monitor the building performance against pre-defined environmental benchmarks (BIM Level 2). Other environmental highlights include:

  • 138 kWp photovoltaic panels (plus PV used on site during construction);

  • sedum green roof and sky garden reflecting biodiversity of the site;

  • low water use appliances;

  • electric vehicle charging points;

  • secure cycle storage, showers and drying room;

  • Native tree planting, bird boxes and wildlife ecology zone

The personal pitch

Opening in March the Filwood Green Business Park will be a showcase development for Bristol as European Green Capital 2015.

It is generating excitement locally and sets the sets the standard for future industrial developments in the city.

The first BREEAM Outstanding development of its type in the South West, it will attract the environmental sector and low carbon ethos businesses that Bristol wants to take forward our vision for a greener, healthier and more sustainable city.

Tailored to new and growing small and medium sized enterprises, the comfortable, healthy and attractive working environment with low running costs and a Work Hub area designed to facilitate interaction, the Green Business Park will provide the best possible support to this growing sector of the economy, in an area undergoing major regeneration.

Suppliers, contractors and solutions providers used

The Design team comprised:

  • Lead Consultant: CH2M HILL

  • Architect : Stride Treglown Limited

  • Structural and Civil Engineer: CH2M HILL

  • Building Services Engineer: CH2M HILL

  • Sustainability and BREEAM: CH2M HILL

  • Quantity Surveyor: Sweett Group

  • Project Manager: Sweett Group

  • Ecologist: RSK

  • Acoustician: CH2M HILL

The Design and Build contract was awarded to Midas Construction Ltd.

Knowle West Media Centre's 'Do What You Love' project has started the Pop-up Furniture factory to supply new and upcycled office desks and other furniture.

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