IKEA’s new distribution centre in Peterborough is helping to further
the city’s reputation as a leading centre for UK environmental
innovation and activity with the installation of a state of the art,
energy saving, geothermal heating system at the site.
The environmentally friendly heating
system is one of the largest of its type in the UK. It will utilize
the earth’s natural heat to provide around 230 kW of energy which
will be used for heating and cooling two floors of the office
At the IKEA site, which is currently
being built by Shepherd Construction, 45 bore holes, each measuring
115mm in diameter, were made 70 metres deep into the ground underneath
the staff car park. A tube threaded down into each borehole and looped
back up to the surface allows water to be pumped into the hole where
its temperature is raised naturally by the earth.
Once returned to the surface the water
is at 10°C. It is then transferred through an underground trench to a
plant room where, using heat pump technology, the heat is extracted
from the water and used to heat the building.
In the summer the system reverses and
extracts heat from the building, transferring it to the underground
system, where it is absorbed by the cooler ground, creating a pleasant
The geothermal heating process is a
natural, environmentally friendly, way to create a comfortable office
climate all year round. It uses significantly less energy than
conventional systems and is highly efficient and cost effective to
Peterborough is one of four
Environment Cities in the UK and home to a growing cluster of
environmentally orientated companies. Recent research has shown that
these companies employ more that 4,000 people and turn over
approximately £310m per year - about 5 per cent of Peterborough’s
The giant £40 million IKEA
distribution centre with its dedicated junction on the Frank Perkins
Parkway section of Peterborough’s dual carriageway ring road is
solid evidence of the city’s unparalleled advantages as a logistics
and distribution centre.
Peterborough’s geographical location
– 80 miles north of London and within a four-hour drive of 85 per
cent of Britain’s population – has always been an important sales
message in persuading companies to relocate to the city. It enjoys
immediate access to the A1(M) and proximity to other important routes
such as the A14, M1, M6, M11 and M25.
Peterborough’s own highly efficient
traffic system, which gives the city the fastest travel-to-work times
in the country, is another plus point.
IKEA’s property manager Paul Jacobs
said: “Peterborough is a first class location for our new
distribution centre. We were attracted to the area by the proximity of
Peterborough to the coastal ports and the city’s highly skilled
At 1.4 million square feet the
Peterborough distribution centre will be IKEA ’s biggest in the UK.
With warehouse floor space equivalent to nearly 20 football pitches it
will supply the company’s existing 11 stores and support an £800
million expansion programme under which 19 more stores will open by
The state-of-the-art centre, complete
with computerised ‘pick-and-pack’ systems and a call centre, will
create 450 jobs when it becomes operational next month (March).