Recycled milk bottles help Logistics Park construction achieve net zero

SEGRO Logistics Park, Northampton.

A new logistics park in Northampton will achieve net zero carbon in the construction of all units and the delivery of the supporting infrastructure to the park – thanks to the use of recycled milk bottles and other initiatives.

SEGRO has developed a pioneering partnership with primary contractor Winvic Construction Limited to develop the company’s first UK big-box logistics park to be constructed to achieve net zero.

SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton (SLPN) will comprise up to five million sq ft of modern distribution space and a new 35-acre rail freight terminal.

The development, which is adjacent to Junction 15 of the M1, close to Northampton, is expected to support over 7,000 jobs.

It also includes significant infrastructure improvement works, including a bypass of Roade village, improvements to the A45 and M1 Junction 15 and extensive landscaping including new cycle routes and footpaths.

The development will achieve net zero through a number of innovations in the construction and procurement processes to reduce the amount of embodied carbon in the base build by approximately 40%, with any outstanding carbon being offset.

Andrew Pilsworth, managing director, national logistics at SEGRO said: “Rapid advances in construction techniques and building design are enabling developers to deliver warehouse units more sustainably, but SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton will be the first time net-zero is achieved across an entire vast industrial site, including the delivery of all on-site and off-site supporting infrastructure.

“This is the result of a truly innovative approach from SEGRO and our partner Winvic to source recycled materials and embed the principles of the circular economy at all stages of the design and development process.

“Developments such as SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton are vital cogs in domestic and global supply chains, and it is critical we can deliver them to meet our customers’ requirements for net-zero carbon warehousing and help the UK transition to a greener economy.”

Arun Thaneja, Winvic’s technical services and sustainability director, added: “Our combined vision for sustainable procurement and operations, has resulted in SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton being a perfect example of how we work in partnership to deliver innovative net zero developments.

“We hope the scheme becomes a source of inspiration for net-zero in the construction industry.”

Initiatives in the construction of the site include the use of recycled and low-carbon materials, with more than one million recycled milk bottles being used for the site’s drainage system, achieving a 90% carbon saving.

Salvaged materials, including brick, metals, broken concrete and wood are also being used across the development.

All materials – almost five million cubic metres – have been retained on site for landscaping bunds which has resulted in a saving of 7,978 tonnes of carbon. 

The construction site is also powered by hybrid generators, saving 12 tonnes of carbon per week versus 100% diesel, while vehicles are also powered by green diesel.

Over 250,000 litres of this hydrogenated, treated vegetable oil have been used to date, saving 607 tonnes of carbon.

Meanwhile, the concrete used on site has on average 35% less carbon than traditional mixes and with a concrete batching plant on site, it can be produced to exact quantities and specifications required, significantly reducing waste and carbon emissions created through transportation.

All steel used on the site will also have at least 30% recycled content. 

The site’s environmental credentials is in line with line with SEGRO’s commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2030.

Any carbon that can’t be removed will be offset through a variety of initiatives that will be focused around social value, ecology and renewable energy.

These include peat bog restoration in the north east, a carbon farming project in Somerset and several tree planting schemes.

An initial 165,000 Verified Carbon Standard carbon credits have been purchased.

SEGRO’s current priority is to reduce carbon emissions, however the company is simultaneously developing its carbon offsetting strategy. The learnings from SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton will inform this strategy.

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