Today, 22 April 2021, Earth Day is being supported across the globe to demonstrate and promote environmental awareness. It is an opportunity to focus on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.
To mark Earth Day, The Pirbright Institute has planted a new wildflower garden on its campus in Surrey. The stretch of land replaces unused ground and will provide a new habitat and source of food for an abundance of wildlife, and provide a beautiful environment for staff too.
The garden is situated alongside Pirbright’s environmentally award-winning laboratory, The Jenner Building, which was officially opened in 2017 by HRH The Princess Royal. The laboratory was designed to be extremely energy efficient and consume 20% less energy than the buildings it replaced. It achieves this using 283 photo voltaic panels, thermal mass heating, air source heat pumps and rainwater harvesting among other initiatives. The Jenner Building has received a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating and was the winner of the CIRA biodiversity BIG Challenge Awards, which enabled Pirbright to plant its first wildlife garden beside the laboratory in 2017.
Pirbright is developing its campus with the environment in mind, employing a Net Zero Carbon Strategy to guide future projects. This ensures that new building proposals will carefully consider the carbon impacts of facilities throughout their whole life, from the building materials used to the energy consumption and energy sources employed once operational.
Projects that improve current facilities are also underway, such as the installation of a combined heat and power energy source, projects to reduce laboratory energy consumption when the spaces are not in use and the installation of electric car charging points for staff.
The addition and preservation of natural habitats on the Pirbright site is also very important. Bird and bat boxes have been placed across site to support the breeding of several species and the trunks of dead trees have been kept in place to remain as natural habitats. The wildflower garden will help to support this wildlife and is another welcome addition to Pirbright’s campus.