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Europe’s First Low-Carbon Timber Framed Solar Car Park to Open in April

Europe’s First Low-Carbon Timber Framed Solar Car Park to Open in April
07 March 2024

In Salisbury, a solar car park made from timber beams and glass solar panels is to open at a health and wellbeing centre.

Situated at Wiltshire Council's Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre, the facility will be the first low-carbon wooden framed solar car park in Europe, contributing over 10 per cent of the centre’s overall electricity usage, saving £50,000 on annual bills. In its first year, the car park is expected to generate 186MWh of electricity, enough to drive 679,856 miles in a modern EV, saving 36 tonnes of carbon emissions.


Glulam as a Steel Alternative


The car park structure is made from Glulam, which are timber laminations bonded together to offer a natural alternative to steel. Glulam is three times stronger and a third lighter than structural steel, and uses a tenth less energy to install. Recyclable Spirafix ground anchors secure the structure, again avoiding the use of traditional steel.

Three gullwing solar canopies cover 70 car park spaces, with a combined total capacity of c.220 kWp. The canopies are fitted with transparent Glass-Glass solar panels that capture energy from each side. The solar cells are embedded in a Glass-Glass composite protecting them from snow and hailstorms, and are ammonia and salt mist resistant.

The car park was designed and installed by 3ti, who is responsible for the two largest solar car parks in the UK, at Bentley Motors, Crewe and JP Morgan Chase, Bournemouth.

Philip McMullan, Senior Technical Lead on Major Energy Projects at Wiltshire Council, said: "We have invested heavily in sustainability to achieve our 2030 carbon neutral goals. The new solar installations at Five Rivers will help reduce our carbon footprint and support the local community with the transition to zero-emission motoring by strengthening the county's EV charging infrastructure."

Picture: an artist’s impression of the solar car park, showing the curved canopies above the parked cars. Image Credit: 3ti


Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 07 March 2024


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