Temple Farm, Chelmsford

Outstanding and innovative campus development

Project Details

  • Scheme Version: BREEAM Communities 2012
  • Stage: Final (Step 2&3)
  • Location: Chelmsford, UK
  • Score & Rating: 86.3% Outstanding
  • Size: 112,500m2 built development, 34 hectare site
  • Certificate Number: BREEAM-0067 4531

Project Team

  • Client: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain
  • Assessor: M.H. Whiley Chartered Engineer
  • Project Team: Dalen Group, Crofton Design, Murdoch Wickham, Middlemarch Environmental

Formally a scrapyard, this 34 hectare rural site has been remediated and developed to become the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain’s new headquarters.

Temple Farm will provide a live/work campus which complements its rural surroundings by attractive and sustainable building and landscape design. A core belief of Watch Tower is to respect and care for the environment. Incorporating sustainable design measures that are ‘above and beyond’ normal industry practice publicly demonstrates this to visitors, residents and the surrounding community.

Watch Tower believe that the application of BREEAM Communities has improved the quality of the final design, making the development a better place for residents and visitors. The process of incorporating BREEAM raises the awareness of the project design team in matters of sustainability when it comes to building layouts and material specification. As a result of using BREEAM, consideration was given to issues of ecology, energy, water, waste and pollution much earlier in the design process. This has had significant benefits to the development’s quality and sustainability.

Temple Farm achieves BREEAM Communities innovation credit – on BRE Buzz

The client made commitments to ensure that long-term maintenance and operation of the development are in place even before construction work started. This includes maintaining landscaping, buildings, roads, footpaths and cycleways.

A microclimate study informed the location and orientation of buildings and pedestrian routes. An inclusive design and operation strategy developed at the outset ensures that the needs of all users are met.

An improvement of 37.5% over building regs achieved by the use of CHP, PV and other design features. A private high voltage network with generator backup ensures security of supply.

A comprehensive transport strategy promotes zero/low carbon movement. Full cycling facilities throughout the development. New access road together with bus stops with real time passenger displays encourages use of public transport.

Complete remediation of the previously polluted site and re-use of over 75% of previously contaminated land. A net gain in ecological biodiversity achieved by implementing an Ecology Strategy and Landscape & Ecological Management Plan.

Drought resistant native planting throughout along with a site-wide rainwater harvesting system. A Water Strategy developed from the outset enabled the specification of sanitaryware to exceed the requirements of building regs.

Zero upward illuminance light fixtures specified. Positioning of buildings and topography means a performance better than the 5dB ‘resonable’ British Standard noise levels. Extensive SuDS drainage system controls surface water run-off.

Zero % cut-fill balance achieved by the movement of 160,000 m3 of material on-site. More than 80% of materials in the public realm will be A+ to B Green Guide rated. FSC or equivalent timber requirement.

The site was remediated and all hazardous waste (including asbestos and medical waste) removed. Demolition waste re-used for road bases. In excess of 85% by volume of construction and demolition waste diverted from landfill.

First ever BREEAM Communities innovation credit awarded for reducing transport carbon emissions attributable to construction workers engaged on site. This involves housing the majority of workers, reducing commuting vehicle movements and transport CO2.

Experiences of those involved in the project

To respect and care for the environment is a core belief of Watch Tower. BREEAM has given us a way to measure it on this project.

James Watson, Sustainable Design Manager, Watch Tower