Grimshaw was commissioned by SITA UK to prepare a design for a new energy-from-waste facility at Great Blakenham, Suffolk.
The scheme provides an alternative to landfill by generating electricity from household and business waste. A Bottom Ash Recovery Facility cleans the resulting ash on site, which is then exported as raw materials for sale or reuse as building products. The design also includes an educational centre to explain the energy-from-waste process to the wider community.
The plant will process 259,000 tonnes of waste per year, which will generate electricity for the equivalent of 30,000 homes. The proposed site was previously occupied by a Council works department, and backs directly onto the Gipping Valley. Creating a balance between industry, nature and community is key, and means that one of the biggest design challenges is housing the EFW facility in a large single volume.
Working with joint contractor Lagan and CNIM, Grimshaw’s scheme will achieve BREEAM Excellent rating and create a building which reflects both the industrial agricultural heritage of Suffolk and the changing character of the ‘Suffolk sky’, where its appearance alters depending on the time of day, the time of year and perspective from which it is seen.