Combined Heat and Power Plant, North Wales

The Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) was proposed by this industrial client for several sound reasons;

  • It would be fed by carbon-based waste already generated at the plant saving on disposal costs and unnecessary landfill costs;
  • That it would provide a certainty of energy supply given their position at the end of a distribution line where domestic customers take precedent; and
  • There was a suitable site already within their industrial complex where it could be readily located.

So what does a landscape architect have to do in such a situation?

We assisted the client by modelling and then reporting on the landscape and visual effects of additional stacks, cyclones and steam plumes at their complex. The primary part of the commission was a colour study to analyse how both the new and existing plant could be made to visually recede into the landscape background.

Our work saw both innovative and traditional mitigation solutions.

Innovative solutions included the modelling of the key vertical elements of the plant using Revit as a 3-D draughting package with architects Lovelock Mitchell and considering how the industrial processes of the CHP and existing plant could be screened, or foiled by lightweight alloy architectural cladding systems. The cowels and wraps to the buildings were designed to hide the majority of the external, unsightly piping without trying to disguise the mass of the stack, or its purpose.

Traditional mitigation included hedge and tree planting on and around the site to foil the visual effect for many different visual receptors without screening sight to attractive views that they currently enjoy.

Finally all these proposals with regard to colour, built form and planting works had to be discussed with the local Community Council, the local planning authority and statutory consultees including Cadw and the Canals and Rivers Trust.

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