Bombay Sapphire distillery in Overton wins green design award

The Bombay Sapphire gin distillery

The Bombay Sapphire gin distillery

First published in News Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A GIN distillery set to open this year has won an award for the design of the buildings.

Bombay Sapphire, which is building the visitor attraction at Laverstoke Mill, achieved the BREEAM Award for Industrial Design at a ceremony held during the Ecobuild Conference at the London ExCel Centre.

BREEAM is the world’s leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings, and sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design.

The Bombay Sapphire distillery is set within a site of special scientific interest, and for more than 225 years was a hand-crafted paper mill that printed watermarked banknote paper for the Bank of England and British Empire.

Last year, it became the first distillery and first refurbishment to achieve an ‘outstanding’ design-stage BREEAM accreditation for its distillery process buildings.

It has now won the award for Industrial Design at the 2014 BREEAM Awards, beating off competition from projects including a Tudor estate and a brewhouse in Dublin.

Distillation is now taking place on site in still houses with traditional copper stills, housed in 18th century buildings.

The 10 exotic botanicals infused into Bombay Sapphire gin will be showcased in their natural state in a glasshouse for visitors to see.

Nik Fordham, master distiller at Laverstoke Mill, said: “Sustainability is vitally important to Bombay Sapphire and has underpinned all of our plans for the distillery. As such, we were delighted to win the 2014 BREEAM Award for Industrial Design.”

He added: “We also believe building such a sustainable distillery makes financial sense, increasing efficiency and long term operational energy and water use savings.”

Throughout the construction process, building materials were recycled from demolished buildings elsewhere on the site.

Native species have been planted to enhance the ecological value of the site and the riverbank has been re-designed to incorporate a biodiverse habitat.

This included temporarily relocating over 400 fish by hand and ensuring that provision was made for colonies of bats and a bevy of otters.

The distillery is being used as a source for renewable fuel supply. Following distillation, the spent botanicals will be used to fuel a biomass boiler providing heat and hot water to the site.

The temperature in each of the glasshouses is also maintained using excess heat from the distillation process and electricity is generated by a hydro-electric turbine in the River Test and an array of photovoltaic cells.

Restricted water-flow devices are used throughout the site and are assisted by rainwater harvesting.

Barry Rankin, director of GWP Project Services, and consultant on the project, said: “All parties have worked with great care and collaboration to ensure the most cutting-edge sustainable technologies have been woven into the imaginative design and construction of Laverstoke Mill. The result will prove to be a world-class distillery that reflects the values of Bombay Sapphire.”

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