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City of York Council
United Kingdom - 181 000 inhabitants

Presentation of the organisation:

City of York Council’s Commercial Services Depot in York is about to change the face of commercial building with the creation of its Foss Islands ecoDepot. The ecoDepot will be, we understand, the largest timber framed straw clad building in Europe, incorporating many environmentally sustainable features: grey water recycling, renewable energy, and intelligent climate control. As well as housing the management that organises the cleaning of the city’s streets and the collection of waste, the ecoDepot will include an interpretation suite to which residents, developers, architects and students may come to learn about the building - how it was built, how it works, how it recycles water, how much energy it uses and where that energy comes from.
City of York Council first promoted better public awareness of the need to conserve and sustainably source energy in May 2000 with the opening of the York Environmental Community Centre. The building has large south facing windows, triple glazing and exceptional insulation standards to maximise solar gain. It includes a wind turbine (2.5kW), photovoltaic (solar) panels (1.7kW) and additional room heating via a smoke-free wood burning stove. Solar-thermal panels heat the water, which is collected as rainwater and purified for centre use.
Over the last 12 months the City of York Council’s Environment and Sustainability, Housing and Planning and Transport Scrutiny Boards have worked with the council’s energy manager and sustainability officer to comprehensively tackle the related issues of energy reduction, conservation and sustainable generation. Their work has been in close partnership with the Energy Manager at the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly, Energy Cités, other regional local authorities and the Energy Efficiency Advice Centre (EEAC) to address these issues in its public buildings and local public and private sector housing.

Actions implemented in the field of building performance:

The City of York Council will commence the labelling of its public buildings using the DISPLAY label format in January 2006. The council’s energy manager working with buildings mangers and EEAC has created an energy improvements handbook detailing no-cost through high cost projects for implementation across its property portfolio.

The Environment and Sustainability Scrutiny Board will be recommending to the Executive in their report ‘Generating the Future’ that the authority audits – using a recommended planning and site evaluation and whole life costings assessment process - its buildings with a view to installing PV, Solar water and Wind turbines in its schools, public Buildings and selected housing schemes. The Board have also recommended the adoption of policy ensuring a target of at least 30% of the estimated total energy consumption be provided from onsite or embedded renewable microgeneration by 2010/11.

Number of buildings involved up to now:

Day nursery / Kindergarten
General school
Professional school
Administrative building

Swimming pool
Sport hall
Social / Cultural building

Health centre
Rescue centre

Individual house

Contact:M. Gary Christie
Department:Resources FMD


City Finance Centre, PO Box 31, Library Square
GB-YO1 7DU York

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