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Defra gets carbon negative office

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs (Defra) will be the first government department to have the capacity to be carbon neutral.

Lion House in Alnwick, Northumberland has been named the most environmentally friendly office building certified by the Building Research Establishment Assessment Method (BREEAM) after receiving a score of 81.5 per cent.

The building has achieved its award-winning status by combining a number of renewable energy sources including photovoltaics, a biomass heating system, solar thermal hot water generation and wind turbines.

On-site electricity generation helps deliver a 108.6 per cent reduction of carbon emissions at the building.
Sustainable materials have been used throughout the building and all major construction elements were sourced in line with BREEAM 2006 guidelines.

Appleyards, who project managed the development of Lion House, hopes to introduce a measurement plan to continually assess how the building is performing and show that targets are being met.

Defra staff will have full operational control of their environment with screens providing users with real time information on the performance of the building’s technologies and a traffic light system will help them decide how to keep the building on track to achieve carbon neutrality.

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