Co Down construction company - GRAHAM - has been given
the green light to build its new £10 million eco-friendly
Approval was given by Northern Ireland's Planning Service's
new Strategic Projects Unit (SPU)
The company, which employs close to 1000 employees, has also
announced that the new HQ facility will allow the company
to create a further 200 jobs over the next 2 years.
The eco-friendly HQ will be based just off the A1 dual carriageway
beside Hillsborough. It will use a biomass boiler, collect
rainwater and the company is hopeful it will receive the highest
award level for sustainable buildings - the Building Research
Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) 'Excellent'
The project-team for the new GRAHAM site also includes architects
Building Design Partnership (BDP), planning consultants
White Young Green and public relations consultants
Of some significance is the processing of the planning application
within 6 months, by Northern Ireland's Planning Service's
new Strategic Projects Unit (SPU) - the GRAHAM application
is one of the first to be processed by the unit.
Executive Chairman, Mr Michael Graham said - "This planning
approval allows us to forge ahead with the construction of
our new HQ on schedule. It is no secret that we have outgrown
our historic HQ base in Dromore and we had feared the new
planning application would take longer to process and, thus,
impact upon our business development plans.
"Significant time and resources have been invested into the
design of the new building to make sure it incorporates key
environmental features - and this, of course, is positive"
- he added.
Graham said that the 3,000 square metre, three-storey, glass-fronted
building would showcase GRAHAMís Ďgreení design and
construction techniques - including natural air circulation,
a biomass woodchip burner, sustainable urban drainage system
and use of appropriate landscaping.
"The centre of the building has a full height atrium
that helps with natural ventilation and spreads daylight throughout
the building" - he said. "All the building materials
are sourced locally from sustainable sources and we will have
computerised co-ordination of all the various systems, to
make sure that everything is managed to keep the building
at the right temperature and light levels."