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WE-EF has supplied LED streetlights to the UK’s largest carbon neutral development at Graylingwell Park, Chichester


The residential development was conceived in response to the previous Government’s 2006 pre-budget report which stipulated that all of the country’s new residential buildings should be zero-energy homes by 2016.

Electricity for the project area is supplied by locally-produced renewable energy. To make sure that there is enough energy to operate the entire infrastructure, Graylingwell Park relies exclusively on energy-efficient products, and has used LED luminaires from WE-EF for its streetlighting tasks.

Set within 85 acres of parkland, Graylingwell Park is less than a mile from Chichester city centre.

The scheme, created by Linden Homes, Affinity Sutton and the Homes and Communities Agency is the UK’s largest carbon neutral development, with high quality, energy-efficient homes set in glorious surroundings with nature trails and plenty of green open spaces.

With environmental sustainability and community at its heart, a new community garden has just opened for residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables, with everyone who takes part benefitting from the produce. There will also be an orchard, farm shop and community hall.

Energy centre

However, the project also creates considerable architectural and technological challenges with regard to resources and environmental protection, because energy consumption and generation must be balanced over the course of a year in order to operate the community on a carbon-neutral basis.

At Graylingwell Park, an energy centre provides heating and hot water for all 750 homes while also supplying electricity to the national grid. The energy centre is the first combined heat and power plant to contribute as much as 37 per cent towards securing Level 6 Energy of the Code for Sustainable Homes at a residential development.

The gas-powered Energy Centre will provide heating and hot water for all 750 homes at Graylingwell Park, while also supplying electricity to the National Grid. It is the dual generation of both heat and electricity from the same source that makes the Energy Centre extremely efficient and is a significant factor in achieving Graylingwell Park’s net zero carbon status.

It has been developed and delivered by Regeneco, part of the Galliford Try Group, who will undertake the energy services on behalf of the Graylingwell Park Partnership. Regeneco will operate, manage and maintain the Energy Centre and the associated infrastructure on a 25-year contract.

Street smart

Similarly, public lighting for the residential area does not consume large amounts of energy.

With regard to streetlighting, the landscape planners from Studio Engleback decided on RFL530 LED street and area lighting luminaires from WE-EF. The connected rating of only 24 watt per luminaire was an important criterion. At the same time, the planners were also impressed by the high lighting quality, since efficiency cannot be achieved at the cost of security and comfort.

RFL530 LED luminaires offer exact light control and the effective removal of glare, and are based on CAD-optimised OLC One LED Concept lenses made of PMMA, as are all WE-EF LED street and area lighting luminaires.

In contrast to the cumulative sequencing of individual LEDs, the multi-layer approach means that each LED lights the entire target area. The individual LEDs create a separate layer of identical light distribution, whereby the sum of all layers results in even lighting and homogeneous distribution with very good visual comfort. An additional advantage is that any loss of, or a decrease in the luminous flux in individual LEDs will not change the level of uniformity, as only the average illuminance will decline accordingly.

Graylingwell Park uses luminaires with [S60] lenses for asymmetric ‘side throw’ distribution, which meet the requirements for Class S4 (streets in residential areas, and walking and bike paths) of the British streetlighting standard BS4589.

Eco friendly

Looking solely at its climate-neutral operations, Graylingwell Park is already making an important contribution to the ecological balance. At the same time, the project’s master plan pursues a sustainability philosophy that extends the principle of resource protection even further.

In this context, those responsible for the project have focused not only on the environmental impacts of the products during their use, but also during their entire life cycle. In working with luminaire manufacturer WE-EF, they found a partner who has long been working on this issue.

The body of WE-EF luminaires is made from a marine-grade low copper content aluminium alloy – an alloy that can be recycled with only 5 per cent of originally used energy. Overall, more than 90 per cent of the materials that are used can be recycled. Moreover, the modular structure of the luminaires ensures sustainability. For example, once the LEDs reach the end of their service life or are upgraded, the LED modules are simply replaced without affecting the luminaire body or pole installation.

WE-EF is currently working on an analysis of the ecological footprint of its LED street and area lighting luminaires – an analysis that is unusually comprehensive for the industry. With partners such as PE International, a specialist for Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), and Institut Bauen und Umwelt (IBU), WE-EF is evaluating the effects of the production, installation, operation and recycling of its luminaires on the environment.

The full evaluation will end with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) pursuant to ISO 14025. Such an environmental declaration supplies verifiable and comparative information regarding a product’s environmental burden. Investors and operators who focus on sustainability for their projects are increasingly requesting such EPDs.