Solihull-based ProLogis Developments has confirmed that its 64-acre ProLogis Park Sideway at Stoke-on-Trent will be designed as a "test-bed" for environmental technologies and sustainable ware-house design features.
"Sustainability is quickly becoming a business imperative in our industry," said Jeffrey Schwartz, chief executive officer of ProLogis.
"Government agencies in Europe and other key regions of the world are requiring that industrial developers plan for environmental impacts when s ubmitting projects for approval. In a future of heightened scrutiny and more stringent standards, companies will need a core competency in sustainable development in order to succeed.
"At ProLogis, we're fortunate to have world-class expertise in this area, and years of experience working with environmental technology and design in locations all over the world."
Ken Hall, senior vice-president of ProLogis responsible for European construction, said the two buildings at Sideway - totalling some 500,000 sq ft - will incorporate sustainability features in a number of key areas.
Significant improvements in energy performance of the buildings will be included, such as exterior building fabrics that decrease air leakage and loss of energy; enhanced skylights that increase natural light and decrease consumption of electrical power; and high-efficiency lighting.
"Whilst increased energy performance will be a mandatory requirement of the new Building Regulations - coming into effect on April 6 - these improvements represent even bigger gains for our occupiers in the reduction of energy consumption," Mr Hall said.
Renewable energy systems will be incorporated, including roof-mounted solar panels, heat-absorbent solar walls that virtually eliminate the need for conventional space heating, and solar thermal hot water systems. ProLogis will also be looking at the feasibility of wind turbines on the site.
"These systems are over and above current legal require-ments and represent ProLogis' commitment to increased utilisation of renewable energy technologies," added Mr Hall.
The Sideway development plan will also be designed to create an optimal working environment for employees and to integrate the property into the fabric of the local community.
For example, a comprehensive 'Green Transport Plan' will be developed that includes convenient links to mass transit, cycle paths and pedestrian walkways.
On-site shower facilities will be included to encourage cycling to work, as will a free electric shuttle to key nearby locations and an internetbased carpooling programme.
Planting onsite will help offset the development's carbon dioxide emissions and will include Black Poplar, a species which has been identified by the Staffordshire Biodiversity Action Plan as being severely under threat.