Thames Tap consultant Hugh Blaza considers how a groundbreaking industrial scheme in Milton Keynes takes development in a positive new direction.

Does the huge new distribution centre planned for Milton Keynes show that green innovation in the Arc is more than a pipe dream?

News is in of a new 180,000 sq ft logistics scheme coming to a 10.4 acre site at Fenny Lock, near Milton Keynes. Pan-European operator Baytree Logisitics has agreed terms for the erection of new buildings on the site by Glencar Construction. The build period is an ambitious eight months.

What has caught our eye is the commitment by the developer to deliver innovative and sustainable buildings. This is, of course, very much in keeping with the determination of those charged with delivering the development across the Arc in ways which are environmentally positive.

The design of the building is said to incorporate many features to promote employee wellbeing, operational and environmental efficiencies.

The latter include recycling of materials, sensors to maintain indoor air quality and sophisticated attenuation features to reduce the demand for fresh water by recycling ‘grey’ water where possible.

Glencar is promising an ‘outstanding’ scheme, boasting CO2 reductions, enhanced working environments and operational cost savings: in other words, the kinds of sustainable features one would expect of a forward-thinking 21st Century developer.

Critics of the concentration of development in the Arc may not be convinced, but for as long as people need ‘stuff’ and need it now, highly efficient distribution centres will be required in all regions of the country.

That Baytree and Glencar expect the building to be occupied by December demonstrates that the demand is there.  That the partnership is committed to satisfying that demand in ways the Arc’s environmental guardians expect has to be seen as a step in the right direction.

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