Dartford Borough Council and Prologis have delivered the first BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ building to be constructed on a South East business park. The 30,667 sq ft (2849 m2) building, which is known as SusCon, has achieved a Final Certificate assessment of 89.58%, the highest final BREEAM score ever awarded.
Designed as a sustainable construction training, research and business centre, the £6.9 million SusCon building has been designed and constructed using a methodology that Prologis developed for industrial and distribution facilities. A forerunner for cost-effective, green buildings of the future, SusCon shows that the fundamental principles of sustainability can be applied across many different building types.
Developed for a public/private sector partnership led by Dartford Borough Council, North West Kent College and Prologis, SusCon has been jointly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, the South East of England Development Agency and the Skills Funding Agency via CITB-Construction Skills. The combination of partnership working and private sector procurement has shown that a highly sustainable building can be developed without significant additional cost.
SusCon has been designed to function passively with minimal use of energy. The building features high levels of air-tightness and thermal insulation and it is oriented to make maximum use of natural daylight and ventilation. Where energy use is essential, Prologis has specified the most efficient plant available. A low pressure hot water (LPHW) system, for example, provides heating and hot water powered by a wood pellet biomass boiler.
Electricity, gas and water consumption is controlled by an Automatic Monitoring and Targeting building management system that offers students and office occupiers the opportunity of contrasting the actual performance of the building with the design criteria. Carbon emissions from regulated energy use are 7.94 kgCO2e/m2 per annum, which is 72.47% lower than Building Regulations and 86.98% lower than the benchmark for existing buildings.
SusCon has been awarded an EPC ‘A’ (CO2 Index 9) rating and as part of a detailed Life Cycle Assessment carried out by Deloitte, embodied carbon has been measured and reduced. Following completion, unavoidable embodied and operational carbon emissions were mitigated through avoided tropical deforestation and a local community project. As a result, the building has achieved Planet Positive certification.
In addition to training and sustainable construction research advice, SusCon provides business space together with meeting room and conference facilities for both occupiers and external organisations. The building also includes a ground floor café serving high quality, locally-produced food. Catering for occupiers and visitors alike, the café is becoming a meeting place for the local community.
SusCon encourages occupiers and visitors to travel sustainably and the building is served by Fastrack, an award-winning public transport service that connects SusCon to rail services at Dartford, and Ebbsfleet International as well as to local shops and leisure facilities.