When it comes to industrial parks, it is not just about buildings. Sustainability, welfare, and training are paramount.
Jenna Strover, head of commercial delivery at Potter Space explains how the company is approaching all three aspects.
Cop26 certainly grabbed the nation’s attention when world leaders discussed what countries should be doing to address climate change issues.
Although the plans to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach were on a grand scale, it doesn’t mean we can’t all do our bit to help save the planet.
That’s why, several years ago, we incorporated a strategic sustainability programme across our five industrial parks, with buildings incorporating EV charging points, solar panels, and cycle stores. We also improved the biodiversity of the sites with the introduction of beehives.
We have since built three sustainable buildings, with our most recent one in Ripon being recognised with an international award for its environmental features.
Last month we announced that we will be doubling the size of our site in Droitwich to more than 470,000 square feet in the next five years. We will therefore be using the successful template with all the new builds, starting with the first phase in spring next year, which will comprise four units totalling circa 105,000 square feet, all of which will be designed to BREEAM ‘very good’ standards.
However, industrial parks are about more than just buildings. First impressions count, so they need to look tidy and professional from the moment someone arrives, as it reflects on the companies operating on-site. They need to have branded and clear signage and maintain attractive landscaping.
It is also imperative to invest in the development of those working for the company, as they will be ensuring the customers are well looked after, whether that is on site or behind the scenes.
For example, those working on our estates, as well as our in-house construction team, regularly receive the latest Health and Safety Training, and we have also provided full drone training to our estates manager, Alex Carter, to make it easier to survey the buildings and quickly address any structural issues the customer may be experiencing.
It is also vitally important to look after the welfare of those operating on site, whether that is new or existing customers or colleagues. After all, we all spend a great deal of time at work.
So, when people want to take a break, there need to be areas where they can relax, such as outdoor seating areas and picnic tables. We are fortunate that although our parks are close to strategic transport links, they also benefit from rural locations.
Next time you visit a business park or an industrial estate, I hope you will appreciate it is not just made up of units from which companies operate. There’s a great deal of strategic thought which goes into the development of the site and the buildings, with a team of highly skilled people delivering a first-class service to their customers.