Network Rail Sustainable Buildings
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Sustainable Buildings: Network Rail Case Study

Organisation : Network Rail

Application : There are no Building Use Categories.

Product : Solus

Location : Coventry

Requirement :

Network Rail’s prestigious leadership training centre at Westwood in Coventry has 160 bedrooms, equipped to four-star standards with leisure facilities, restaurants and bars, set in architecturally award-winning surroundings. A review of waste management as part of Network Rail’s corporate waste strategy project identified an opportunity for Westwood to improve on the company’s target of a 60% avoidance of landfill. Advanced food de-watering, composting and waste-handling machinery was purchased and the site’s management set itself a ‘zero-to-landfill’ objective. The challenge was to find a suitable building in which to house this equipment, without compromising the site’s aesthetic appeal and sustainable credentials.

Solution :

Mark Kelly, Operations Manager at Westwood, says: “We approached a number of companies for a solution, including a specialist waste-processing company, but only Portakabin could devise a suitable facility. They rose to the challenge with great enthusiasm, engaged with us and worked hard to understand our complex requirements and objectives so that they could come up with the best possible solution. They quickly came back to us with a good plan and then worked with our partners and suppliers to create exactly the facility we had been looking for”

The unique building devised by Portakabin was an adapted Portakabin Solus single modular building. It featured wide double doors in the front and side walls, so that the machinery could easily be installed. The roof was covered with sedum, a natural living material that contributed to Network Rail’s sustainable ambitions for the site.

The floor was specially reinforced to achieve a 5kn loading that would support the heavy composting equipment. To fulfil the aesthetic requirements of the project, the entire building was wrapped in vinyl sheeting overprinted with images of trees and plants, so that it blended in perfectly with its natural surroundings.

The location chosen for the building, at the side of the main car park, presented a tight footprint which was enclosed on three sides by protected trees.

Mark says: “Portakabin did a great job of completing this tricky installation. There were just inches to spare as the building was transported into the car park and craned into place. It was installed very efficiently, right on schedule, ready for us to move our equipment in.”

Portakabin has a unique Customer Charter, which promises that all projects will be completed on time and on budget. It even promises that in the unlikely event of a project overrun, the customer will be entitled to an additional 12 months product warranty on their building.*

The state-of-the-art waste-processing equipment installed in the building included a composter to handle food scraps, which account for 60% of the site’s waste. The by-product is used to fertilise the site’s gardens. A second hi-tech machine processes all of the site’s non-recyclable waste into a clean ash, which is swilled into the drains and acts as an effective cleaning agent.

Mark adds: “We are absolutely delighted with the building and the overall solution provided by Portakabin. It is a very unobtrusive building, but nevertheless it has become a major attraction here. Many visitors want to take a look at it and we’ve had interest from across Network Rail, as well as from major organisations and councils who are keen to replicate this kind of sustainable waste-processing facility at their sites. Portakabin really got under the skin of this project and solved our problem. They swiftly moved the project to a successful conclusion, providing a building  that fulfilled all the requirements of our very strict brief.”



* Terms and Conditions apply. A copy is available on request.

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Registered company number 685303


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