The R&A Sustainability

Date: Mon 19 Mar 2018

The R&A’s Equipment Testing Centre Becomes First to Achieve Sustainability Certification

The R&A’s Equipment Testing Centre has become the first golf facility in the UK to achieve GEO Certified® Development status after successfully completing the GEO Foundation’s programme.

Allan Robertson House

Allan Robertson House

The internationally recognised certification supports the development of golf facilities which are driven by nature, are resilient in operations and are connected to community values.

Designed by Wellwood Leslie Architects and named after the great St Andrews golfer, Allan Robertson House is a new world-class testing and research facility which brings together the existing operations of The R&A’s Equipment Standards department in a single location and enables delivery of an enhanced service to golfers, manufacturers and affiliated organisations. The golf area was designed and constructed by Paul Kimber of the Kimber Golf Group.

Professor Steve Otto, Director – Equipment Standards at The R&A, said, “We are thrilled to have achieved the GEO Certified® Development status for the development of Allan Robertson House and it reflects our aim of having a positive impact on the surrounding natural environment and local community.

“From the very beginning we were committed to building a world class golf facility which was in line with our wider sustainability principles and we will share the knowledge gained from all aspects of this work with our affiliated organisations around the world.”

The development of the facility demonstrated a sustainable approach throughout the planning, design and construction phases and a commitment to world class leadership in sustainable golf development.
The site utilises an underused and semi-degraded area of land located at the far end of the Kingsbarns Golf Links practice range and the entire project set out to improve the quality and health of the existing landscape by retaining valuable existing species and adding a diverse palette of native planting.

Key achievements of the project include the 100% retention of the ancient woodlands on site, over 9,000m2 of diverse new habitats created, 1,580m2 of extensive green roof, 100% recycled water sourced from the on-site attenuation pond, energy efficient building design with large thermal massing and passive design principles of lighting and ventilation and use of local contractors and suppliers.

Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of the GEO Foundation, said, “As the UK's first GEO Certified® Development, the team behind Allan Robertson House has demonstrated great vision, combined with attention to detail to deliver a highly sustainable golf development. We were particularly impressed with the way decisions were made over the most ecologically sensitive use of the site, the selection of grasses being used and trialled, and the approach to passive building design.”

A GEO Foundation case study document on Allan Robertson House can be downloaded here

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