Ipswich: SEH French wins top environmental rating for busway building

SEH French, the Ipswich-based construction arm of SEH Group, has received one of the highest environmental building accolades possible for its latest project – a passenger building for a new guided busway in Cambridgeshire.

The building, at Longstanton, is only the fourth in the East of England to have received an “excellent” rating for environmental efficiency from the Building Research Establishment.

SEH French worked in collaboration on the project with Cambridgeshire County Council, which already had an established relationship with Ipswich-based Jackson Civil Engineering, also part of the SEH Group.

Besides passenger facilities, the building includes and exhibition and education centre to encourage the local community to consider “green” options.

Construction techniques included a green “living” roof and Hempbuild, a newly-patented zero-carbon outlay material based on hemp which is so effective that the conventional heating system will only need to be used in extreme weather temperatures.

Simon Girling, director of SEH French, said: “This building has become one of our best examples, from both a structural and a sustainable point of view. Our team has worked extremely hard to create not only a unique building, but one that will educate and serve as an example of how a fully sustainable building should be created.

“We’re delighted with our ‘excellent’ rating and we’re committed to our environmental promises. Although the initial capital outlay is sometimes slightly more with a sustainable building, in the long run it will pay dividends with money saving and lessening an organisation’s impact on the environment.”

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Chris Poultney, project manager for Cambridgeshire County Council, added: “We’ve set a benchmark standard now by creating this building with SEH French.

“Their professionalism and attention to detail is second to none, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the Longstanton project.”