Space technology boosts sustainability of Regent Street redevelopment

Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 09:43
Written by Sinead Fynes Black

The Quadrant 3 redevelopment is the first in the UK to install a highly efficient and sustainable fuel cell that draws its power from the same technology used to provide energy to space shuttles during flights.

Emitting 38 per cent less carbon dioxide than using electricity from the grid and heat from gas fired boilers, the 300 KWe molten carbonate cell is the most efficient of its kind in Europe. The fuel cell forms part of one of the world's most sophisticated central energy systems which serves over 46,500 m2 (500,000 ft2) of offices, retail, residential, restaurant and hotel space in the Regent Street Quadrant area.

The cell converts natural gas into electricity through an electrochemical process which avoids creating any of the by-products of combustion, drastically reducing environmentally harmful emissions. A projected 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be saved per year.

As well as reducing the building's carbon footprint, the electrochemical process makes the cell highly efficient as no energy is wasted between the power station and the building, or in moving the mechanical parts needed to induce combustion.

Head of Development Alastair Smart said: "Occupiers are increasingly looking to operate more sustainably and this includes factoring in the green credentials of their premises. The fuel cell is a real flag in the sand, demonstrating what is possible in terms of energy efficiency and carbon reduction, and it will only enhance the building's reputation as a world leading example of sustainable development."

Al Gore, former Vice President of the USA, currently headquarters his sustainable investment firm, Generation Investment Management at Quadrant 3. The building's sustainable design was an important factor in the firm's decision to move to the scheme with Mr Gore commenting that The Crown Estate demonstrated a "sophisticated commitment to sustainability".

The £400m Quadrant 3 scheme is a model for sustainable central London development, incorporating substantial public realm improvements as well as a sophisticated energy generation system.

The fuel cell installation was completed by Edinburgh-based Logan Energy. Stanhope was the development manager for Quadrant 3. Sir Robert McAlpine was the main contractor and Aecom was the mechanical and electrical consultant.

Source: The Crown Estate

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