Pin-striping, window tinting, chrome-plated wheels, custom floor mats and alarm systems: when you buy a new car, the aftermarket extras you can choose are fabulous. The development industry is faced with a similar array of green add-ons: wind turbines, low water appliances to toilet areas, photovoltaics and “local provenance vegetation” – that’ll be weeds, then. The key has been to work out which ones cut the proverbial mustard, whether locally “provenanced” or not, and which are simply marketing flimflam. ProLogis is working on another way to evaluate the sustainability matrix of warehouses.
Called EcoPlan, the project is a root and branch assessment of our operation by Guy Battle, environmental consultant at Battle McCarthy. His work takes includes our team of contractors, who are undertaking to improve energy efficiency in all areas of the build process.
ProLogis aims to deliver both a lower-carbon environment, a workforce that wants to work in our buildings, and cost savings through energy efficiency.
As part of a long-term process of self-examination, Battle is running workshops with ProLogis and its suppliers throughout this summer, helping to prepare a detailed environmental policy. With ProLogis having had a lot of ad hoc green initiatives, Battle and I are putting together a policy based on sustainability rather than simply environmental techniques.
We can draw on our global experiences. ProLogis launched a new warehouse park in France. Prologis Park Chanteloup, south-east of Paris, includes photovoltaic electricity generation, chemical-free rainwater filtration for non-potable use and all of the 232,500sq m of space in nine buildings is hidden by its landscaping from nearby residential. Danone has already taken a 37,200sq m unit there.
In the UK we are interested in this development because I expect France to be the first to have an electricity, heating and grey water-neutral warehouse, using the huge expanse of the shed roof to support both water run-off and PV cells that contribute to the local power supply. Also we are following our Japanese operation closely, where ProLogis is master of the multi-storey warehouse.
Through our work on ProShed, we have a team of contractors who share our commitment to EcoPlan, and have come up with all the ideas so far.
With our architect, Michael Sparks Associates, we achieved the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) excellent rating at Bromley-by-Bow Distribution Park, a heavily contaminated former gasworks site. We brought in new infrastructure with an ecological dimension: riverside walks, cycleways, 10% roof lights and use of brille-soleil. All the aggregates used were crushed on site. It also has a displacement air system and uses passive ventilation, as well as cycle storage space, showers and