Ten years ago Adnams Brewery developed a brand new distribution centre, taking the opportunity to put its values into practice and built one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the country. The distribution centre stores beers, wines and spirits from both Adnams’ own production and its suppliers. Established in 1872, Adnams is best-known as a brewer of beer with a strong sustainability ethos. Adnams also owns and runs three coastal hotels, makes its own hand-crafted spirits, imports wines for its stores and runs an online shop.

Built in a former gravel pit in Reydon, just outside Southwold, Suffolk, this was hailed as ‘one of Britains greenest warehouses’ and the first industrial building in the UK to be built using entirely sustainable material, boasting many architectural and technological wonders. These include 60m Glulam wood beams from sustainable sources, solar thermal water heaters, walls made from local hemp and lime bricks and a 5,000m2 green/sedum roof. This ensures the building is very insulated and no artificial cooling or heating is needed to maintain a cool 13-16 degrees C inside. Photo-voltaic cells in the roof also provide 80 percent of the hot water required.

Installed when the building was built in 2006, the Thorn lighting at the centre of the 4,400m2 facility was a mix of inefficient fluorescent, metal halide and compact fluorescent lamps. The objectives for the new lighting were to therefore reduce the number of fittings and associated energy consumption by switching to LED.

In addition to supplying the original lighting scheme for the distribution centre, Thorn had successfully refurbished some of Adnam’s offices with LED lighting, in addition to undertaking maintenance projects to replace fittings when failures occurred. Based on the quality of Thorn’s products and the integrity and expertise of its service, Adnams approached Thorn to renew the lighting, whilst helping Adnams to achieve its goal of reducing its carbon footprint every year, largely through a reduction in energy consumption. The refurbished lighting also had to provide a better lit environment for employees.

Thorn has met the stringent objectives of Adnams Brewery by reducing the number of fittings and associated energy consumption and switching to LED. In the distribution centre’s key industrial areas, including the main warehouse, cask bay and goods in area, Thorn’s HiPak Pro LED high bay luminaires have been installed. High efficiency (135 Llm/W), HiPak Pro LED makes particularly significant energy savings when compared to the previous lamps whilst providing a better quality of light than the previous luminaires. Installing LED lamps has also reduced the heat emitted from the lights, lowering the temperature and making it easier to maintain the 13-16 degrees C temperature inside.
Thorn’s IP65 rated dust and moisture resistant Aquaforce ll LED has been fitted in several other industrial areas including the loading bay, caged and parcel areas. Other refurbishment areas include the toilets with Cetus LED. As a recessed LED downlight sealed to IP44, Cetus LED is designed for one for one replacements of traditional compact fluorescent downlights. The next phase will see the refurbishment of the offices which will include the introduction of lighting controls to maximise energy savings.

Benedict Orchard, Environmental Sustainability Manager, says “We do not seek to buy the cheapest products because we want to ensure our suppliers provide a top quality product (as we do in our business), with great customer service. We therefore look for suppliers who follow similar values to ours around pride and passion for the product and company, integrity, individuality and responsibility.
“Having fully researched our site beforehand to understand which solutions would be best for us, Thorn successfully met our objectives, including to reduce the number of light fittings and energy consumption within the building. Minimal disruption occurred and our staff are very happy with the products.
“So far we have data suggesting reduced energy consumption is on par with calculations prior to project completion. The light levels are all significantly better and the colour is very clean and great for industrial operations. I am also impressed with how clean and smart the lighting and light levels look. The new lighting makes the whole site not only a better environment to work in but also visually more pleasing, which is important when stocking high quality products.”