Solar Air Heating technology from CA Group delivers significant results for M&S


Project: Marks & Spencer, Castle Donington
Project Type: Distribution Centre
Client: Clowes Developments
Architect: Isherwood McCann
Project Size: 80,500m² Roof, 24,000m² Walls and 4,500m² SolarWall®
Main Contractor: Winvic Construction
Cladding Contractor: CA Roofing Services
System Manufacturer: CA Group Limited
Systems: Twin-Therm® Roof and Wall including Rooflights, SolarWall® Transpired Solar Collector system

According to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), approximately 40% of the UK’s energy demand results fromthe heating of offices, factories and warehouse facilities. With increasing pressure on businesses to become more energy efficient – both financially and environmentally – effectively addressing this ‘space heating’ requirement through the use of renewable technologies, has become a priority.

To that end many companies are looking towards highly efficient, holistic heating solutions, which incorporate established renewable technologies, as part of their sustainable building strategy.

When retail giant, Marks & Spencer, was planning its latest distribution centre in Castle Donington, the company’s Plan A initiative was the driving force in determining how the building would run with maximum efficiency.

The 80,000 m2 carbon-neutral facility, which is set to become the UK’s largest dedicated e-commerce warehouse – distributing two million clothing and home products a week direct to customers – features an enormous south facing elevation. This fact made it a prime candidate for the SolarWall®, Transpired Solar Collector (TSC) technology from building envelope specialist, CA Group Limited.

Designed for the specific purpose of heating large spaces, active solar technologies such as the Transpired Solar Collector (TSC) can transform the fabric of a building’s southerly elevation into a giant solar collector by capturing the sun’s energy which is then used to pre-heat fresh, outside air before it is drawn into the building’s heating system, considerably reducing the building’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The SolarWall® which CA Group has installed for Marks & Spencer in Castle Donington, is the largest example on a single building in the world. Measuring almost 4,500m² – the equivalent of more than 16 tennis courts – it is expected to reduce the building’s heating requirement by somewhere in the region of 30%, by generating more than 1,135,000kWh and saving over 256t of CO2 per annum.

Solar air heating is easy to install, 100% renewable and has the effect of dramatically reducing a building’s overall heating requirement, providing significant savings in energy consumption and carbon emissions.

M&S-EMDC-(17)Through the successful adoption of the SolarWall® technology by household names including Jaguar Land Rover, Royal Mail, Tesco and now Marks & Spencer, the system is fast gaining a reputation as the most efficient solar technology on the market. The SolarWall® technology has been identified as having the lowest capital cost, highest known efficiency (up to 80%) and quickest return on investment of any active solar technology in currently available – with an estimated payback period as low as three years.

In addition to the use of CA Group’s TSC technology, a number of other sustainable measures were adopted in the delivery of the project for Marks & Spencer at Castle Donington.

CA Group’s Twin-Therm® built up roof and wall system was selected due to the fact that it provides a fully-walkable cost effective solution which offers a high degree of flexibility and exceptional air tightness levels. Twin-Therm® is delivered as a carbon neutral envelope and uses man-made mineral fibre insulation, which is non-flammable and complies with UNEP’s (United Nations Environmental Programme) environmental recommendations against the use of CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs or VOCs.

The exterior of the building features pre-finished steel, which has been optimised to provide maximum corrosion resistance and comes with a 25-year guarantee.

Adopting a long-term view enabled the project team to ensure that the benefits would continue to resonate even after the building reaches the end of its useful life, through the use of materials which do not deliver any unforeseen disposal costs for the owner – a significant problem facing many building owners today.

The new distribution centre has been rated Excellent by BREEAM and recognised with an EPC A certification. It is set to open later this year.


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Wednesday, March 6th, 2013