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Award-winning architects Stride Treglown’s new offices look every inch the environmental masterpiece the company set out to design.
The eye-catching Treglown Court, built on a former industrial site in Cardiff, has a host of state-of-the-art energy saving devices and is topped with a small array of roof mounted photovoltaics.
But what is less visible is the wedge-shaped building’s wooden heart – a biomass pellet boiler providing a low temperature hot water heating system for the offices and a supply of hot water for staff.
The company was determined to design a sustainable building that would set a new benchmark in environmental excellence and approached Forestry Commission Wales for advice and help with the heating.
With the help of a grant from the Commission’s Wood Energy Business Scheme (WEBS), the company installed the biomass boiler to provide an efficient, low-cost heating system for its flagship offices in the Ocean Park area of the city.
WEBS is a £20 million project part-funded with £7.8 million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government.
Run by FC Wales, it offers capital investment to small and medium enterprises for woodfuel heating systems and processing equipment to develop the sustainable and renewable wood heat market across Wales.
Stride Treglown director Gareth Davies said, “This was the first office in the UK to be awarded the highest BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) Outstanding rating at the design stage with an environmental performance certificate rating of A.
“We wanted to see this through and build innovative offices that stood as a fine example of our commitment to support the environment, and the biomass boiler is a key component of this.”
The building, which can accommodate over 50 staff on two floors, was officially opened by Jane Davidson, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing.
Treglown Court has already won accolades prior to completion including the BRE Award for Offices at Ecobuild 2010, Green IT Award for Environmental Project of the Year 2010 and UK International Property Awards Architecture Award (Offices) 2010. It has also been awarded Constructing Excellence Wales Demonstration Project Status for its sustainable credentials.
WEBS Programme Manager Mike Pitcher said modern woodfuel heating was a clean, convenient and sustainable form of renewable energy which can fit into most buildings and would have long term benefits for society.
“Using more wood for energy in place of fossil fuels will help us to reduce our CO2 emissions and keep the money we pay for energy in our local economy,” he said.
“That Stride Treglown should choose this method of heating for staff based in their flagship offices is great news and we were delighted to help them achieve their aim.”
For more information on the WEBS grant scheme, see www.forestry.gov.uk/woodenergywales or contact Michelle Brunt on 0300 068 0088, firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
About 14% of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
WEBS is a four-year project which runs between 2009 and 2013. Its aim is to provide capital grant support to micro-businesses, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises to develop the sustainable and renewable wood heat market across Wales. It offers grants of up to 41% in the Convergence Area of West Wales and the Valleys and 31% in the Regional Competitiveness and Employment area of East Wales.
Three types of project are eligible for grant support:
• Woodfuel heating systems
• Small scale electricity generation using wood - Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
• Woodfuel supply businesses
WEBS builds on the experience of the previous round of funding, also supported with European funding, which Forestry Commission Wales managed between 2004 and 2008, resulting in 17,000 tonnes of CO2 being saved per year using 33,000 tonnes of clean, sustainable fuel.
For more information on WEBS see www.forestry.gov.uk/woodenergywales.
The Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) is part of the Welsh Assembly Government's Department for Economy and Transport and is responsible for administering the European Structural Funds in Wales.
For the period 2007-2013, Wales has been allocated some £1.9 billion by the European Union which will be channelled through the Convergence programmes for West Wales and the Valleys and the Regional Competitiveness and Employment programmes for East Wales.
These funds will generate an investment of over £3 billion and will be used to improve economic growth and employment in line with the Welsh Assembly Government’s strategies and the EU’s Lisbon and Gothenburg agendas. WEFO’s aim is to ensure the European Structural Funds programmes 2007–2013 work efficiently and effectively for Wales, as well as overseeing the conclusion of the 2000-2006 programmes.
Press office contact: Clive Davies, email@example.com, 0300 068 0061.