Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Great Blakenham energy-from-waste facility rated ‘outstanding’ by BREEAM in boost to green energy

18:06 25 January 2016

The waste incinerator at Great Blakenham. Photograph Simon Parker

The waste incinerator at Great Blakenham. Photograph Simon Parker

Archant

The energy-from-waste facility (EfW) at Great Blakenham has been named as one of the greenest buildings in the country after achieving an ‘outstanding’ rating from international assessors.

It is the first industrial building in East Anglia to be awarded the top grade from BREEAM, which aims to encourage low-carbon, low-impact designs.

The EfW, launched in December 2014 and run by Suffolk County Council (SCC) and SUEZ, uses household and business waste as a fuel to generate enough electricity for 30,000 homes. Metals are recycled and ash left after the incineration process is used as an aggregate for building projects.

Matthew Hicks, cabinet member for environment and public protection at SCC, said: “Energy-from-waste provides a cheaper, greener alternative to landfill. Over the 25 year life of the contract it will be at least £350 million cheaper and greenhouse gases are being reduced by 75,000 tonnes a year, compared to landfill.

“But it is not just the process which has environmental benefits – the building itself has now proved to be among the best designs under a scheme which measures the social, environmental and economic sustainability of buildings.”

Under the BREEAM scheme, points are awarded for every environmental feature incorporated into the design, construction and operation of a building.

Features at the Suffolk site include:

Design – the building features the same giant ‘plastic pillow’ roof used in the Eden Project in Cornwall. This allows in lots of natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Construction – the old highways building, which once stood on the site, was used in the foundations for the new building and all of the materials used in construction came from sustainable sources.

Use – rainwater is collected on site and is then used in the energy-from-waste process; the site powers itself and exports excess electricity to the National Grid.

Paul Leighton, plant manager for SUEZ, added: “To achieve ‘outstanding’ is an exceptional achievement and it is testament to the determination and hard work of all those involved to make this facility the best.”

The facility was designed by world-renowned architects Grimshaw and the main contractors were CNIM/Lagan.

SUEZ has paid for the £180 million building, and a government grant from Defra, worth nearly £200 million over the 25-year life of the contract, will help to cover the running costs.

Clive Arthey, chairman of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, which includes the county, district and borough councils, and which sends waste to the facility, added: “In Suffolk we remain committed to increasing recycling, but this facility provides us with a great solution for the waste that can’t be recycled.”

1 comment

  • Not entirely sure how dragging rubbish around in lorries, some from a large distance away, and then setting fire to it can be classed as 'green'. Same as sending all the Recycling half way across the world on Container ships. These schemes are self promoting and seem to be switched on and off when the council wants (Park & Ride closures, cycle schemes scrapped). How can we believe any of it - they are only 'green' because we are told...

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Boy

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Beach huts at Brightlingsea in more recent days

Rows of colourful beach huts, lush green fields packed with caravans and a neat little line of rowing boats combine to create the perfect holiday scene.

Tia-Jade Webb after her weight loss, pictured with Iwan Thomas.

A 21-year-old from Suffolk is celebrating after being named as one of the best slimmers in the country.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust is urging people to help reduce demand this bank holiday weekend. Photograph Simon Parker

The ambulance service is urging people in Suffolk to take extra care this bank holiday weekend after calls to the service increased by 17% at the same time last year.

St Margarets Street, Ipswich, from Majors Corner, in the 1930s

From the Dock, now known as The Waterfront, to the streets in and around the town centre, we see many changes in Ipswich town centre.

End of year Art show at West Suffolk College

The work of almost 400 West Suffolk College students is being showcased in a special exhibition as part of the Bury Festival.

High Street, Lavenham.

After almost four years of consultation and research, a referendum is set to take place later this year on a blueprint that could shape future development in a historic west Suffolk village.

Covers coming off Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds.

The architect behind the renovation of Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds says there is still no completion date estimate, despite the recent removal of some of the wraps.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24