Gallery: World’s Greenest Whisky Distillery Unveiled in Scotland

Photo © Keith Hunter Photography

Image © Keith Hunter Photography

Scotland has a long history of whisky production and now the industry is brewing up a green future as drinks giant Diageo recently unveiled their £40 million environmentally friendly Roseisle Distillery in Elgin. As the first distillery to be built in Scotland in 30 years, this innovative project designed by Austin-Smith: Lord Architects combines modern environmental technologies with traditional distilling techniques. The building has been a awarded a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ award, so we can certainly say ‘Slange Var’ to that! (Scottish dialect for cheers!)

Image © Keith Hunter Photography

This fantastic distillery will ensure that people worldwide can continue to enjoy the benefits of a ‘wee whisky dram’ by increasing Diageo’s production capacity by 10 million litres a year. The new design combats inefficiencies in the traditional manufacturing process and ensures that a number of by-products are recycled on-site in a bioenergy facility: for example leftover barley grain will be used as biomass fuel. In addition, water reclamation measures will save up to 300,000 cubic meters of water per year.

The distillery has already won a number of prestigious honors including the Scottish Design Award 2010 (Commercial Project) and the RICS Scotland 2010 Award (Sustainability Project of the Year and overall Project of the Year).

+ Diageo

+ Austin-Smith: Lord Architects

Via World Architecture News

Photos © Keith Hunter Photography


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  1. Michael Chandler December 13, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Atfergus has a very good point. A big green box that puts a lot of small producers out of business is a mixed blessing at best. Diageo has a history of heavy handed business practices on a global scale. Using Bio-fuel for co-generation is just good business sense and can be applied to smaller scale production facilities as well as these big ones. It is good to examine it from a triple-bottom-line perspective; People, Planet and Profits. we are doing well on two of these here but the people are not benefiting whose jobs have been consolidated in this huge facility.

  2. atfergus November 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    This is not the first new distillery in Scotland in over 30 years. It is the first new distillery to be built by Diageo in 30 years. Here are just a few of half dozen other new distilleries in Scotland.
    – Isle of Arran 1995
    – Kilchoman 2006
    – Glengyle (new) 2004

    It may also interest you to know that many other Scottish distilleries have strong green credentials, Benromach, Bowmore and Old Pulteney by example.

    There is a cost to all this efficiency as well. The distillery relies on computers rather than people to make the crucial subtle decisions which make all the difference in good whiskies. This may be an artful building, but it has taken all the art out of making fine whisky!

    It is also worth noting that not everyone in Scotland or the whisky industry is excited about Roseile. Over the last 30 years Diageo has closed more than a dozen of the distilleries they’ve swallowed up. This may make economic or envrionmental sense, but it is a great loss to the world of whisky. I’d have been much more impressed if they’d retrofitted and re-opened two or three of the distilleries they closed.

  3. balar November 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    But this whiskey is EKO-WHISKEY, and the serious drinkers will now EKO-DRIKERS.
    However here we have a wonderful industrial building.

  4. bewilderedpatriot November 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Great news about an important Scottish industry taking green design seriously. Wee pedantism though. Slainte Mhath is actually Scottish Gaelic not Scotts, although the spelling in the article is a fair phonetic Anglicised approximation.

  5. Lucas Gray November 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    There is nothing quite like the warm feeling of scotch Whisky (without an”e”).

    Also, this is a great example of sustainable architecture. This project would probably do well at the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction –

  6. edingirl November 9, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Please review your use of the word “whiskey” throughout your articles – this should be “whisky” without an “e” when describing the Scottish drink. Irish and American brands use the “e” but the authentic drink has always been spelled without one.

  7. undeadbydawn November 9, 2010 at 2:05 am

    no, Scotland has a history of producing Whisky. Whiskey is Irish

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