New DAFF HQ is the first building in the Isle of Man to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating - D.E.F.A Press Release
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has recently been advised that its new corporate headquarters, currently under construction at St John’s, has been awarded an ‘Excellent’ rating under BREEAM, the highest rating possible. BREEAM has also confirmed that Thie Slieau Whallian is in fact the first, and presently the only, building in the Isle of Man to achieve such a rating. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a buildings environmental performance, as well as providing a tool for clients to help reduce running costs and improve the working environment.
This was the result of an early decision by the Department and the Design Team to produce an environmentally sensitive, low impact building. This enabled appropriate judgements and decisions to be made, for example, the decision to maximise natural ventilation and day light which guided some elements of the form of the building and the type of materials to be utilised in its construction.
Performance is assessed against a number of criteria, such as land use, materials, health & well being and energy. Credits are awarded in eight categories according to performance. These credits are then added together to produce a single overall score on a scale of Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent.
The building is essentially a linear two storey block with a curved roof, plus a single storey attachment with sedum roof. The two storey section has a central atrium with opening roof lights to aid natural cross ventilation and provides light in the heart of the building. Both roofs have large overhanging eaves to reduce overheating. Thermal mass, to aid in controlling temperature and humidity is located centrally in the building, horizontally at first floor level and vertically with the wall that runs the length of the atrium. The first floor is constructed of hollow core concrete slabs, the wall of hemcrete. The use of concrete was limited to where unavoidable and natural materials were utilised wherever possible. The use of timber, one of the most sustainable building materials available, from responsibly managed and renewable sources, was maximised. The walls, roof and floors are all highly insulated.
The building is heated by a biomass boiler sited at the adjacent timber yard, utilising woodchips produced by the Sawmill together with waste sawdust. Heat is also provided to the Sawmill buildings and the existing Forestry Division offices. The use of timber from the Department’s sustainable plantations and waste products provides a zero carbon heating solution for the development.
The Department and the Design Team agreed early on in the project that the building should use substantially less energy than a conventional building regulation compliant development by passive means wherever possible. Services have been designed out where passive means allowed and those services which are required have been installed not only to run efficiently, but also to allow the Department to monitor and analyse to continue to make savings during the life of the building.
The Minister for the Department, Phil Gawne MHK said “I’m delighted that the new headquarters has achieved this rating. The Department has an excellent team working on this project and they should all be justifiably proud of the developments and improvements which are taking place at the St John’s site. The new building will provide a fantastic location for the Department’s staff to work in when it is completed and I understand that the work schedule is on time. The delivery of the project has been remarkable with the entire scheme being completed in a little over two and a half years from appointment of the first members of the design team.”
5th February 2010
|Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture|
Thie Slieau Whallian
Isle of Man
|Post Code:||IM4 3AS|