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Ten years young!

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

image001You know where your Adnams beer and spirits are made, but do you know how it gets from our brewery to you? As a values-led business with sustainability at the heart of everything we do, when we had the chance to design a brand new Distribution Centre, we took the opportunity to put our values into action and build one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient buildings in the country. The Reydon distribution centre is situated just a couple of miles away from our brewery in a disused gravel pit and is the warehousing and delivery hub for Adnams beers, spirits and wine. It also houses some of our administrative team, as well as six bee-hives, but more about the bees later...

Ten things you may (or may not know!) about our Distribution Centre:

Ben Orchard and Adnams Distribution Center1. It's ten years old this month! With a heritage dating back to 1872, the Adnams team plan well into the future and rather than creating an anonymous, standard warehouse our building designers added several important sustainable, ecological features into our new building back in 2006. 2. The longest glulam beams in the UK! Instead of steel roof beams, we used glulam beams to support the roof (glulam is short for glued and laminated wood). They are strong yet lighter than steel and come from renewable, sustainable forests. They look great, too! 3. Not just any old bricks... We created a special building brick made out of locally-grown hemp mixed with lime and chalk. The cavity in between the bricks is filled with hemp, which is an efficient insulator, plus a little lime. The walls are not only energy-efficient to manufacture, they are also great at keeping the building cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. Wild flowers at the Distribution Center4. Living, green roof Hidden in an old gravel pit, many visitors travelling on the road to Southwold don’t notice our distribution centre as its living, green roof blends into the surrounding countryside. It is home to a range of grasses and a fleshy plant called sedum. The sedum not only provides insulation but also helps clean the air by filtering out airborne pollutants. Honey bees and other insects feed from the flowers, too! 5. Don't be alarmed, but our loo water is an odd colour! Suffolk is one of the driest counties in Britain, but even we get rain, sometimes! Any excess rainfall from the living roof is collected and used to flush the loos. Ben Orchard and Adnams Distribution Center6. We've seen the light Adnams distribution centre is designed to make the most of natural light with its large windows and roof lights. To help cut electricity useage further, our LED lights are controlled by motion sensors. 7. Your dream cellar... With a warehouse full of beer, we need to keep it cool to bring it to you in top condition. The thick walls, insulating green roof and a door release airlock system means that our warehouse remains at around cellar temperature all year. Although around 15% more expensive to build than a standard warehouse, a year after moving in, we estimate that compared to our old distribution centre which was situated in the centre of Southwold*, we are saving around 40% electricity costs. Good for the environment and good for business, too. 8. A load of hot air Shortly after our Distribution Centre was built, work began on creating a biodigester, to help us achieve zero-to-landfill. Our refuge is either recycled or incinerated to create energy, and our food and brewery waste is either sent as cattle feed, or to the biodigester to create biomethane which is fed into the national grid. Ben Orchard and Adnams Distribution Center9. Reydon is buzzing! Honey bees, incredibly sadly, are under threat. Adnams is fortunate to have our very own beekeeper, Steve Barrett, who has hand-built a range of hives in which to relocate and home honey bees. He’s not exactly sure (they are tricky to count!), but Steve thinks we now have around a quarter of a million bees living in our small corner in Reydon. They forage from the green roof, as well as from the wild flowers and hedgerows surrounding the Distribution Centre. Vitally important as pollinators, we’re proud to be able to help this most wonderful of insects. You can read more about our bees here. 10. It's home to our Karen! As well as housing our IT team, buying, HR and logistics teams, it's also home to Adnams' Chief Operating Officer, Karen Hester. Karen oversaw the building of the Distribution Centre, and was so proud of it that she asked everyone to wear slippers on their first day to keep the floors looking good (or so legend goes...) The Distribution Centre is just one small part of our sustainability story. New initiatives and improvements are being put in place every year across the Adnams business. We will keep you posted. So, let’s all raise a glass to the next decade and wish our Distribution Centre a very happy 10th birthday!   *Did you know that the site of our old distribution centre is Drayman Square? It's now home to our Southwold store and a load of highly-sought after houses!