The head of the Army has officially opened a new head office for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation that officials have said will bring a "new standard of sustainability to defence infrastructure".
General Sir Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said moving the office to DMS Whittington in Staffordshire is a “great example of smarter ways of working and of effective teamwork”.
The move will see DIO staff working alongside some of its armed forces customers. The military base is home to the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, the headquarters of the surgeon general and the Defence College of Health Education and Training.
A parachute display from the Royal Logistic Corps’ Silver Stars marked the opening of the purpose-built site, St George’s House, which will accommodate more than 550 Ministry of Defence staff who have relocated since the closure of DIO’s former office in Sutton Coldfield earlier this year.
The office is being sold off under the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio, a programme to modernise the defence estate over the next 25 years.
As the estate expert for defence, DIO plans, builds and maintains infrastructure for the armed forces.
In a statement, DIO said the move “not only brings benefits for working relationships” with the armed forces, “but also strengthens Staffordshire’s position in supporting UK defence”.
The building has been designed to cut carbon emissions by using renewable energy, low water usage systems, improved insulation and electric car-charging points, DIO said.
All of the building’s energy requirements will be supplied by renewable energy sources, with half provided by rooftop solar panels.
DIO said these and other energy-saving measures should save £18m in building running costs over the next 25 years.
Carter said the building is an example of how DIO is “leading defence’s approach to net zero”.
“I look forward to it becoming a recognised exemplar of a modern and inclusive working environment and a home to infrastructure specialists,” he added.
DIO chief executive Graham Dalton said the “flagship” building “demonstrates how we can use building design to enable our people to work in a modern, flexible way”.
“It demonstrates how we can use a smaller footprint and modern designs to minimise energy use – bringing a new standard of sustainability to defence infrastructure,” he added.