Adnams – 2023
Adnams’ environmental strategy has evolved from simply “doing the right thing” into a fully integrated and award-winning framework which saves money and makes complete business sense. Adnams value the rich biodiversity and natural resources of their Suffolk coastal home and our planet.
When Adnams had the chance to develop a new distribution centre, they took the opportunity to put their values into practice and build one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the country. They wanted a building hidden away in the rolling East Anglian countryside, while also being in tune with the environment, using the rain and the sunshine that fell on it to power the activity inside.
Made from laminated wood from sustainable sources. The beams were the longest glulam beams in the UK and by opting for renewable building materials such as glulam, reducing reliance on steel.
At the time, this was the largest sedum roof in the UK. Sedum is a carpet of thick fleshy plants, which not only gives structural and aesthetic benefits but many environmental ones too. Sedum provides insulation, keeping a building warm in winter and cool in summer. It also helps to filter out pollutants from the air and purifies it.
Lime and hemp walls:
Bricks made from locally-grown hemp lime and chalk are more energy-efficient to manufacture and help to regulate the internal temperature. The blocks hadn’t been used on such a large scale before, so Adnams invested in machinery to make enough of them for the building.
The warehouse is similar to a cellar and must be kept at a constant temperature of 11 degrees. All of the environmental features of the building, combined with a door release system that creates an insulation tunnel, and the fact that the building has been built in a disused gravel pit means that the temperature remains at the desired level, without the need for any refrigeration units.
Photo voltaic cells in the roof provided hot water.
Reydon Distribution Centre opened in 2006 – winning a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), award for excellence.
The thermally efficient and locally grown hemp and lime walls alongside a living sedum roof reduces electricity use helping to reduce carbon emissions and save around £30,000 per year and LED lighting across the site reduced electricity usage by 38% whilst helping keep the temperature cooler and needing fewer bulb replacements.
The Adnams centre’s rainwater harvesting system saves around 1 million litres of water each year. Recycled rainwater is used to wash trucks and flush toilets. They have also introduced a fleet of electric vehicles to deliver customer orders from stores, and local orders placed online to further reduce environmental impact.
They are continuing look into alternatives here to help reduce not only carbon emissions but also the air pollution from transport. Biofuel trials have further reduced consumption.
Around one million bees kept by Adnams have encouraged wildflowers to grow, and the bees enjoy feeding from the sedum growing on the roof. Their Reydon home forms part of a bee corridor along the Suffolk coast, where Adnams bees can stop off at points along the route. The honey they produce is used in The Crown Hotel in Southwold.
Adnams’ site has been surveyed by Suffolk Wildlife and by protecting it from development for more than 15 years they’ve created a haven for rare plant species and invertebrates. This has in turn brought an amazing variety of birdlife to the site.
In 2023, Adnams will start to measure the carbon sequestered in the soil and hope to become a demo site to encourage much larger landowners to do the same, with the wider aim of encouraging them adopt regenerative farming to maximise the carbon captured on their land.