Reducing Costs and Increasing Sustainability
Facilities management company ParkServe is achieving significant savings by reducing the carbon footprint at both its science park sites–Colworth Park in Bedfordshire and Discovery Park in Kent.
Discovery Park in Kent and Colworth Park in Bedfordshire are two of the UK’s most successful business parks, but their size and complexity as multi-business campuses with a focus on science, comes at a price.
And it is the job of Parkserve’s Energy Manager Paul Fullbrook to deliver a strategy that will not only identify where savings can be made, but also to identify the part staff and individual businesses can play.
It is already having an impact with an estimated 1,500 tonnes reduction in CO2 emissions since October 2015 with all steps being taken to ensure the carbon footprint across both sites is kept in check.
And there’s more to come including a new £140m biomass facility at the Discovery Park site, which will generate the entire power and heat requirement for the site once built. Work on the plant gets underway this summer and is expected to take two years to complete.
"There are challenges in keeping energy bills in check," said Paul, "Some of that is legacy issues related to the task of updating systems that were originally planned for a single company use, not the multi-business hub that both sites have become.
"Both sites also remain significant hubs for science and that means ensuring bespoke systems for controlling air, ventilation and other requirements to meet the needs of 21st century lab research.
"The total amount of electricity consumed each year at both Colworth Park and Discovery Park is equivalent to what would be needed to power more than 24,000 homes with a total energy spend for the year to April - when gas and water are added – coming to around £7.75 million.
"My role, since I joined last autumn, has been about identifying where savings could be made. Part of that has been looking afresh at existing policies and procedures and asking – why do we do it this way? It’s an approach which has already led to tens of thousands of pounds in savings.
"In some cases that has been as simple as switching off pumps, whose activity no longer serves a purpose. Obviously, an investigation has been needed first, but the question ‘Why is something switched on?’ has become like a mantra to me.
"From improving automation to fixing fire main leaks to improving sub-metering so that individual buildings or parts of buildings have bespoke energy settings to meet
their needs, action is being taken now that will ultimately reap benefits both to site landlords and to tenants."
"That work will escalate further in the coming months as new monitoring software comes on stream that will allow precise analysis of usage across both Discovery Park and Colworth Park.
"By October 2016 we believe total savings will be closer to £250,000 thanks to the steps taken over the past year in addition to boiler efficiencies, switching off redundant motors, and implementation of better BMS control strategies.
Paul Bax, Operations Director, Parkserve, added: "In addition to all the demand side energy strategies and savings that have been made, Parkserve is working alongside Discovery Park in optimising the energy generation side at that site.
"The new £140m biomass facility will use completely renewable fuels in the form of coppice in order to generate the entire power and heat requirement for Discovery Park. The project is likely to take two years to complete but will see the whole of Discovery Park served from a renewable energy source
Jeff Hind, Managing Director, Parkserve, added: "Parkserve not only aspires to minimal environmental impact as an organisation, but are committed to facilitating the efficient use of energy and water; to directly assist our clients and their tenants reducing costs and their environmental impact.
"Our ambition is to get both sites more energy efficient, energy conscious and energy wise. The steps we’re taking now will go a long way to getting us there."