East Port Properties president John Lindsay demonstrated a crucial technological innovation at the grand opening of the Beclin Business Park Wednesday: windows.
To demonstrate one of the ways the new business park plans to save money on operating costs — others include efficient lighting and better insulation — Lindsay had the lights turned off to plunge the warehouse, and the attending officials and potential customers, into darkness, before the structure’s skylights were uncovered, flooding the warehouse — despite the overcast day — with natural light.
“Electric sensors dim and turn off the electric light when the natural light delivers the full lumen requirement,” he said, adding that the natural light doesn’t only save electricity costs, but also delivers a “superior and inspiring” work environment.
‘New breed of warehouse buildings’
“As a contrast to the past, we wanted to bring something new to the greater St. John’s industrial marketplace. And this building we are in today is the first of new breed of warehouse buildings,” he said. “Instead of the long, flat buildings you can see anywhere, we’ve created a distinct architectural look that gives a big nod to the row houses of downtown St. John’s.”
The business park will eventually comprise six new concrete buildings, and the warehouses are the first in the province built to conform to Leadership in Energy and Environment Design certification guidelines. Lindsay said the design considered not just the buildings, but also the people who would be using them.
“Keeping people in mind also means supporting active living and transportation, with showers and bike lockers, and you see out there our electrical vehicle charging stations to encourage alternative transportation,” he said.
The warehouse housing the official opening is a six-bay, 30,0000-square-foot structure, already two-thirds leased. When the park is completed, it will have 250,000 square feet in the six buildings.
The second building — 40,000 square feet — is already half-leased, by a single tenant due to move in after the building’s completion next month, and East Port is “scratching the dirt” as it prepares to start building the third warehouse, said Lindsay.
The time frame for completing all six is entirely based on the market, he said, but work on the buildings, as well as interest in leasing from customers, has progressed more quickly than expected. “We’re looking at ourselves probably in the next three to four years having all six buildings fully developed.”
Lindsay told The Telegram the company thinks such environmental certification is the future of warehousing.
“Long-term energy efficiency and people operating smarter, i.e. using free natural light instead of burning electricity to make light. Using good insulation so that you don’t have to create heat constantly, you just create it and hold it, because the insulation value holds it.It also is a much more comfortable environment when you are in an extremely well-insulated building.”