Rising energy costs have become a major driver for change as has the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with local and national targets. As a property owner and a community leader, St Albans City and District Council has an important role to play in reducing our own energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
Our latest Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report
The Council calculates and reports the greenhouse gas emissions arising from our services and operations every year as required by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The Council's most recent Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report can be downloaded below.
The report shows that we have reduced our total CO2e emissions by 14% since 2008/09 with reductions evident across each category. We are on track to reach our target of a 20% reduction by 2020/21.
The Council has been working to implement a range of measures to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from our largest buildings.
At the District Council Offices, we have reduced our energy consumption in recent years by installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels (which reduce our demand for electricity from the grid), replaced our old boilers with condensing boilers. We have also implemented a Building Management System (BMS), a range of IT efficiency improvements, conducted voltage optimisation, and promoted energy conservation behaviour to staff. We are also replacing all our lighting with LEDs.
Some of our largest and most energy intensive buildings are our leisure centres. We have opened three new centres since 2012, all of which were built to high environmental standards.
Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre
We opened the new Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in November 2012. We heavily integrated sustainability into the design of the building, something which is reflected by it's Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) rating of 'Very Good'. Our flagship leisure centre then went on to win 'Most Sustainable Construction’ at the Building Futures Awards in November 2013 and the Gold Award in the Community Construction category of the Green Apple Awards 2014.
The features that we incorporated include:
Solar PV panels
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) providing underfloor heating and electricity
Natural ventilation systems which reduce the demand for air conditioning
Heat recovery systems in the air handling plant
Variable speed drives on fans so that they are only used as needed
Use of natural light, movement sensors and energy efficient lighting
Pool cover and moving floor, which reduces heat loss from the pool
Water from pool sampling is recycled in the toilets, halving water consumption
Use of sustainable materials in construction to help minimise the building’s impact on the environment.
Batchwood Sports Centre
We redeveloped Batchwood Sports Centre in 2014. We took a similar approach to integrating sustainability in the design of the building as we did with Westminster Lodge, resulting in the new Batchwood Sports Centre achieving an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of 22 (or 'A'); the same as Westminster Lodge.
Measures we incorporated include energy efficient lighting, recycled construction materials, solar PV panels, low-energy lifts and a natural ‘windcatcher’ ventilation system.
Date of last review: 24 February 2016
Cotlandswick Sports Centre
We opened the Cotlandswick Sports Centre in June 2015. The centre has solar photovoltaic panels and achieves an EPC rating of 30 (or 'B'). This is better than the expected energy performance of new buildings (a benchmark rating of 38).