SUEZ Energy from Waste Facility   Suffolk, UK

In the sensitive context of a Gipping Valley site, surrounded by historic waterways and special landscape areas, SUEZ commissioned Grimshaw to create a new energy-from-waste facility that could process up to 270,000 tonnes of waste each year.

 

To create a careful balance between the functional demands, local community needs and the industrial and agricultural heritage of Suffolk, the building is expressed with direct, robust materials in hues that blend with the existing environment.

The heart of the project is the boiler room. An envelope of translucent polycarbonate panels and 3.6-metre-long blue louvres, which rotate to create a variegated skin that recalls cloud patterns, forms its shimmering body.

The bespoke cladding system appears to change colour and transparency according to the sun’s angle and position of the viewer; equally, it diffuses light within and allows employees to enjoy working in natural daylight.

Alongside the waste recovery facility is an education and visitor’s centre, which communicates the importance of preserving energy and waste. The project’s highly sustainable design, which was awarded a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating, communicates the value of diverting waste from landfill in a building that calmly integrates with its environment.

The bespoke exterior adapts with the changing sunlight creating the feel of natural light inside.

All in all this building finds the right line: its design approach has made it economic and functional and as unobtrusive as it could be. It is also a great place to work in and steps a long way from the portal frames and haphazard structures of so many utilities buildings.

Kay Hughes, RIBA Journal

To achieve 'outstanding' is an exceptional achievement and it is testament to the determination and hard work of all those involved to make this facility the best.

Paul Leighton, Plant Manager for Suez

Location
Suffolk, UK

Project Types
Infrastructure →
Industry →

Client
SUEZ environnement

Area
13,896 sq m

Status
Complete

Year
2014

Photography
Jim Stephenson