Best Sustainable Project
Winner: Grimshaw, UK
SUEZ Energy-from-Waste Facility, Suffolk, UK
‘An elegant balance between industry, nature and sustainability’ Amanda Levete
‘Highly sustainable project with strong architecture’ Chris Wilkinson
Located on the edge of the Gipping Valley, SUEZ Energy-from-Waste Facility is a plant in Suffolk that will process waste for 25 years. It is a greener alternative to landfill waste disposal and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 75,000 tonnes per year. The plant currently processes 269,000 tonnes of waste which produces enough electricity for 30,000 homes.
Says Grimshaw: ‘Creating a balance between industry, nature and community was a key design objective. The resulting architectural mass expresses a calm, ordered appearance with an exterior that reflects the sky with its coloured louvres and light-grey smoke stacks.’ At the heart of the scheme is the boiler hall, encapsulated within a dual layer cladding system with a semi-translucent inner skin that diffuses light and softens its appearance. The facade features angled blue louvres which reflect the sunlight.
Rainwater harvesting is utilised to collect water on site for use in the energy-from-waste production process, while exhaust steam from the turbine is turned back into water and fed through a closed loop system, which means the same water is used approximately seven times a day. Surplus heat from the facility is transferred to a nearby greenhouse project and a wildflower meadow encourages bio-diversity on the site. The building was rated BREEAM Outstanding, one of only four buildings in East Anglia to be awarded that accolade.
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