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Theme: Strengthening the foundations of productivity

11 February 2019
Reading Time: 3 mins

Baytree Logistics – innovation at work with a sustainable mindset

“We want to change the industry.  We’re not being secretive about what we’re doing…we invite others to copy us.” Jonathan Fenton-Jones, Operations Director for Baytree is discussing the company’s latest scheme, a 267,000 sq ft logistics building at Dunstable, in Central Bedfordshire.  This is no ordinary ‘shed’, boasting technology that would put many sleek city offices to shame and with wellness built into its very structure. 

The building adopts the Baytree Edge (Baytree’s sub-brand) commitment to ongoing innovation in technology-enabled features, flexible future-proofed design, health and wellbeing, clean air, water, soil and energy. 

Because the Logistics and Warehousing sector has changed so radically in recent years, including the growth of Reverse logistics, Last Mile logistics and so on, the Dunstable building offers maximum flexibility.  This is both for the occupier, whose business will almost certainly have to evolve alongside consumer habits and for the investor, who must ensure its stock will not become obsolete in 15 or 20 years.  Hence this building is designed to allow for changes to its office configuration, drainage, docking bays and warehouse space.

Born out of a Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment, the occupier can view an ‘as constructed’ model, meaning that if you’re scrutinising the model, you’re scrutinising the actual physical building.  So, the occupier can point their smartphone at a particular element of the building – a wall for example – and find out what lies beneath, what wiring, what pipework, what it’s made of.  A sensor suite constantly checks air quality for pollutants, CO2 and humidity levels while also monitoring water quality and occupancy levels, allowing areas to be put into ‘lock down’ if they have not been occupied for a given period of time, with clear energy saving benefits.  All of this can be operated from anywhere in the world via an internet connection. 

Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment undertook a study in 2015 that investigated the impact of indoor air quality, CO2 levels and chemicals on cognitive function.  They found that green offices were on average 61 % better for employees’ cognitive function than their non-green counterparts.  For Logistics operators, this is critical, particularly to help prevent churn and increase productivity.  Baytree’s Dunstable building exudes ‘green’.

The building is designed to WELL standards, in fact it goes well beyond them.  With 15,000 sq ft of office space, careful attention has been paid to proximity to natural light.  The material specifications, colours and dimensions all focus on health and wellbeing.  Materials are recyclable, even the carpets have particulate-eating capability. The reception area features the largest reindeer moss wall ever installed in a warehouse building, reaching full height from the ground through to the first floor.  Where natural light is not available, for example in the toilets, there is manifestation of forests on the walls giving connections to nature with large mirrors giving the impression of space.    Move outside and Baytree have created an ‘edible landscape’ for employees to forage, allotments for food production, a ‘Well’ Plaza for relaxing, a Trim Trail and the building’s external fire track doubles up as a running track for building users, all part of what Baytree calls its ‘kit of parts’.   

 “We want to see our peers, our competitors, their supply chains and their customers taking on board this technology, and occupiers adopting Environmental and Social responsibility as a business strategy.   Having a sustainable mindset is at the core of putting people first and creating a responsible culture that will reap positive returns in productivity, ideas and innovations” said Jonathan Fenton Jones.