Work starts on Welsh govt-backed £12m low-carbon employment scheme
Construction work is starting on a new £12m low-carbon employment premises in west Wales, which promises to produce enough renewable energy to meet all its own lighting and heating needs.
The Welsh Government, in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council, is building low carbon offices, light industrial units and hybrid spaces for letting across three buildings at the The Cross Hands East Strategic Employment Site, Carmarthenshire.
With support from the Active Building Centre, the project will help transform the way commercial buildings are powered and heated, with the aim of achieving ‘Net Zero carbon in-use standard’, which would see the development produce enough renewable energy to meet the lighting and heating needs of the buildings.
Speaking as the COP27 UN climate summit takes place in Egypt, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “The Welsh Government is taking decisive action to tackle the climate change crisis, so that we build a better green future for our country.
“We’re also working hard to deliver the supercharged green industries of the future that will help create high-quality jobs for people in their local communities.
“Delivering first-class business spaces is central to that vision – and it’s vital we do this in a way which contributes to our decarbonisation aspirations. This new development does exactly that, by demonstrating superb low carbon credentials.
“With the support of the Active Building Centre, I hope it can become a launchpad for further low carbon employment space, promote new technologies and provide essential data on the benefits low carbon buildings can deliver.”
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Decarbonisation and Sustainability, Cllr Aled Vaughan Owen said: “This development is a clear indicator of the action the council is taking to meet its net zero carbon 2030 commitment.
“We are pleased to be delivering such a significant demonstrator project, which has the potential to lead the way in terms of highly sustainable commercial buildings. The fabric first design approach and innovative technologies integrated into the buildings are methods which the construction sector must adopt to play their part in reversing the climate emergency.”
The Welsh Government is investing £5.9m in the project, with additional funding by Carmarthenshire County Council and the Active Building Centre; £3.25m funding has also been awarded to the project by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh Government.
The main contractor for the development is Andrew Scott Limited.
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Surely the opportunity should be taken at this development to cover all roof surfaces with solar panels/tiles to allow the export of excess electricity to the local grid? Ditto all new buildings in Cymru, and not to forget the hectares of roofing all over the country wherever it would be ‘economic’ to retrofit. Charging points?
And I should add, all new buildings and roof angles should be oriented to optimise solar capture. Old buildings should be retained and upgraded especially where their carbon content is significant. I wonder if this new complex would meet these criteria?