The project involves the construction of a new building to house several university departments, consisting of teaching spaces, lecture facilities and office accommodation.

It will also house an Energy Centre, housing a CHP system providing low-carbon heat and electricity to the site. The building is to achieve BREEAM Excellent, with the potential to reach Outstanding, and must also meet the GLA’s London Plan requirements for environmental design.

With the University’s commitment to on-site carbon reduction, there was also a need to ensure that the building was not the victim of a ‘performance gap’ when it comes to real versus predicted energy consumption. On this basis, and on our advice, the Passivhaus standard was adopted for the building, to provide a robust methodology for thermally efficient design and construction quality.

The building is well-suited to the Passivhaus standard- given its compact form and southern orientation- and we helped develop an overall strategy for thermal continuity and air tightness. In particular, we facilitated the simplification of the façade design in terms of air tightness and insulation, minimising the reliance on site workmanship to achieve a thermally efficient building.

Other design concepts underway include the application of localised lighting, zonal control for mechanical ventilation, and hot water distribution with microbore pipework.

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