schematic
An earth duct 80 m long and 600 mm in diameter to provide preheating and cooling for building on Butterfield Business Village at Luton is just one of many energy-efficiency measures.

Business park exploits alternative energy strategies

Published:  12 March, 2006

A passive heating and cooling ventilation system using earth ducts will reduce energy consumption by up to 75% at Butterfield Business Village in Luton. Developer Easter Group is striving to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard for the buildings in this development and a ‘A’ rating under the new European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The earth ducts will regulate temperature and guarantee excellent air quality.

The earth-duct system will draw fresh air into the buildings via raised intakes grilles in the landscape and though 80 m-long concrete pipes buried below the buildings and the landscape.

Incoming air will be brought into contact with the thermal mass of the earth to benefit from free preheating in winter and cooling in summer.

Atelier 10 is the architect and environmental services engineer and has worked very closely with East since the start of the project.

Other environmental measures include exposed concrete ceilings. They can work in conjunction with the earth-duct system to provide night-time cooling without having to leave windows or louvres open.

The buildings will also use the highest-quality energy-efficient lighting installations, including glare-compliant lighting and daylight dimming. Lights will never use more energy than necessary to provide working illumination.

The design of the buildings will optimise natural light whilst minimising overheating from direct sunlight through the orientation of the buildings, solar shading by automatic internal blinds and strategic planting of deciduous trees to maximise shading.



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