Rainwater harvesting helps innovation centre achieve top eco rating

The new Innovation Centre at the University of Exeter has been awarded the top rating in the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) thanks in part to a rainwater harvesting system installed by Stormsaver. The building, completed late last year, was deemed excellent by BREEAM's assessors as it meets the highest possible environmental standards. The Stormsaver system will harvest over 1,000m³ of rainwater from the building's 1,500m² roof per annum...

EXETER, UK -- The new Innovation Centre at the University of Exeter has been awarded the top rating in the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) thanks in part to a rainwater harvesting system installed by Stormsaver.

The building, which was completed late last year, was deemed excellent by BREEAM's assessors as it meets the highest possible environmental standards.

The Stormsaver system will harvest over 1,000m³ of rainwater from the building's 1,500m² roof per annum. The reclaimed water will be fed into a 25,000 litre tank where it will be filtered. Once treated, the water will be used in the flushing of toilets and urinals, saving over £1,400 on the centre's annual water bill.

Built for The University of Exeter and the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA), the new development provides an innovative space for those working within knowledge-based industries. Tenants will operate in a diverse range of disciplines including biological science, environmental innovation, ICT and advanced manufacturing.

Andrew Bannock, Professional Services Manager for the South West RDA, said: "Rainwater harvesting is one of a number of environmental features the RDA looks at when assessing building performance.

"The incorporation of rainwater harvesting into the design of this highly environmental building contributed to it gaining a BREEAM excellent award and an environmental performance index of 10, the highest possible."

Construction was supervised by Kier Western's Area Contracts Manager Simon Parsons and procurement of materials by Senior Buyer Derek Jefferson.

"A few years ago we were never asked about rainwater harvesting but now it's often client specified," comments Derek. "On a national basis Kier has worked with Stormsaver on several projects. This is the first time we've used them at Kier Western and had no hesitation in doing so, as the system met all our requirements perfectly."

Lisa Farnsworth, Sales Director at Stormsaver, comments: "It is great that our system has been used in such an innovative building. As the UK's leading designer and supplier of rainwater harvesting systems, we've actively promoted the benefits of reusing rainfall for some years now. The fact that BREEAM is also working to raise the profile of environmentally sensitive construction is great news and we hope that other people will follow University of Exeter Innovation Centre's lead and specify rainwater harvesting in future projects, as doing so will reduce their utility bills and impact on the environment."

Robin Jackson Director of Peninsula Innovations Ltd., which manages the building on behalf of the university, adds: "By providing our clients with an inspiring space we hope to foster creativity. Innovation and environmental best practise have always been closely aligned. By using eco technologies such as rainwater harvesting the Innovation Centre will make a real reduction in its environmental impact and we feel our achievement of a BREEAM excellent rating reflects this."

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