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BLUE SKY THINKING

METALWORKS - INNOVATIONS

The construction of the 41,000m 2 distribution centre at Marsh Leys in Bedford has followed an environmentally friendly blueprint, with the architects - Chetwood Associates? using the new Colorcoat Prisma colour concept from Corus for the wall panels.

Colorcoat Prisma is available in solid and metallic colours and has been formulated for durability and scratch resistance, which creates an eye-catching finish for architectural wall panels. Nigel Godfrey, development director for Gazeley, said: 'We had experimented in the recent past with graduated colour wall panels on a number of our distribution centres around the country. The objective for the Marsh Leys building was to reduce the impact of such a large-scale building using a fade-out colour scheme. The colour strata works well, starting relatively dark at ground level then gradually progressing up to the sky with lighter tones. This banding minimises the overall visual impact.' The unit forms part of a development programme at five sites in the UK owned by Gazeley Properties. Marsh Leys is the first to be completed to the company's Eco-Template policy, and incorporates eleven initiatives, including: solarthermal hot-water heating; a wind turbine to generate power for the offices; 15 per cent rooflights, reducing the need for electric lighting; and pervious paving, minimising the need for man-made underground drainage systems. Overall, the facility will cut water usage by 45 per cent, harvest 400,000 litres of rainwater a year, reduce CO 2 emissions and get 6 per cent of the energy requirement from natural resources. The facility is specifically designed for distribution occupiers.

Eco-Template is based on a belief that Gazeley, together with its customers and competitors, can make a difference to the environment and it is therefore making the research available to all those in the industry.

Contacts, www. colorcoat-online. com, www. chetwoodassociates. com, www. gazeley. co. uk

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