This case study shows how sustainable development can be achieved by combining environmental technologies with economic growth. The Newhaven Enterprise Centre is located on Denton Island, East Sussex and was completed in November 2007.
The aim of the development is to stimulate the growth of small businesses by providing workshop units, offices and networking space as well as support and business advice. Prior to the development, the site was run down and in much need of regeneration and Lewes District Council decided that the project should set a benchmark for environmental excellence while at the same time improving the start up and survival rate of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs).
Many office buildings have sealed windows, meaning that air-conditioning is used. However, in the centre, natural ventilation is used in order to reduce the need for air-con, therefore reducing energy use.
To generate electricity from sunshine the centre has solar photovoltaic panels installed and these can produce up to 13.6 kilowatts in full sunlight. In order to maintain awareness of renewable energy production, a digital display is located in the reception which records how much power has been produced and how much carbon dioxide has been saved. In 2008 over 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity was produced, saving more than 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
It makes commercial and environmental sense to use harvested rainwater as opposed to relying purely on mains water, therefore a rainwater harvesting system was installed in the centre.
Video conferencing facilities were included within the development, meaning that companies can reduce travel and the associated environmental impacts.
Denton Island Community Centre
In addition to the Enterprise Centre, there is the Denton Island Community Centre. This is intended to support families by providing activities and a nursery. Notable features include gardens which are managed in an eco-friendly way and where fruit and vegetables are grown. Also, there are efficient heating systems and green travel is strongly encouraged.
Awards and Achievements
The building was awarded an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating for sustainability
Page last updated: 18 August 2010