The goal was to significantly increase the building’s energy efficiency and reduce its net CO2 emissions to zero. In October 2020, our team began by retrofitting the building with a fabric insulating wrap that made it as thermally efficient as possible. Next, we implemented high efficiency low-to-zero carbon heating, cooling and lighting services controlled with smart technology to ensure they are used only when and where needed. After the building was optimised, we considered a range of renewable energy options. We landed on solar energy, one of the most cost-effective and simple solutions, and installed solar photovoltaic panels on all available roof space.
The solar panels were projected to generate 110 MWh of electricity per year, almost two-thirds of the facility’s total needs. This renewable energy installation would eliminate 64 tons of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to avoiding the burning of about 71,000 pounds of coal. So far, the panels have exceeded this prediction, generating 30% more electricity than expected as of March 2022.2
Getting to neutral and beyond
By 2040, we aim to achieve carbon neutrality in our Scope 1 (emitted directly from our facilities) and Scope 2 (emitted from companies that generate the electricity we purchase) emissions.3
Our strategy to achieve that goal starts with making every building energy efficient and using as much clean energy as possible. The Moreton team, informed by the successful renovation of the facility, is leading the way.
We’re planning a new, multi-million pound building at the site, and outstanding energy performance is just one aspect of sustainability to be built into every facet. The new building is set to be 60% larger than the one it will replace, yet use 68% less energy.2
While it’s planned that the building will have zero greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy costs by as much as 82%, the surrounding site will save water, resist flooding and provide an environment that promotes wellness.2
“Building in sustainability and biodiversity may increase the budget in the short term, but it is paid back quickly – in this case in five years,” Cook said. “But, more importantly, we are planning for the long-term because we know that these investments will pay off financially as well as in so many other ways, for generations to come.”