Solar Energy:


Orbis Energy: Eco Building, Lowestoft


Orbis Energy, Intengrated solar water heating

This landmark Suffolk building, a network of offices, conference and exhibition facilities for small to medium-sized companies engaged in the offshore renewable energy field, enjoys solar thermal heating supplied by Solar UK.

A worldwide centre of excellence, Orbis Energy brings together engineering companies, suppliers, service providers and private investors - which in turn generates work, projects and contracts.

Opened in November 2008, the 3,300 square metre building, built over five storeys, is designed to house over 30 companies working in this fast-expanding sector, and incorporates the latest in sustainable technology.

Its unique design, from the stunning glass atrium to the informal meeting and social spaces, means that Orbis Energy is not only an inspirational building but also a perfect environment for generating ideas and effective networking.

Solar UK’s advanced LaZer2 Solar Tracker uses PV panels to power the solar heating system, technology which received a significant endorsement in the form of the EuroSolar 2001 award.

In addition, a bespoke shading system shields the occupants from bright coastal sunshine (the shore is just 30 metres away), while permeable rain screen cladding protects occupants against harsh seashore conditions. The concrete sub-structure reduces year-round temperature fluctuations, contributing to the energy efficiency of the building. In addition, a locally-sourced woodchip biomass boiler provides the power.

Other features include the latest communication and Internet links, plus security gating and CCTV.

Designed to the BREEAM benchmark – the most widely-used environmental assessment method for buildings – it achieves the standards for best practice in sustainable design, resulting in a low environmental impact. This national centre for renewable energy will also become a catalyst for growth in the East of England, playing a vital part in the regeneration of the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth areas.

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