CBG were employed by Lendlease as the Project manager to carry out the M&E design to Stage E, and then proceed to a watching brief for the M&E services on behalf of the client Anglia Ruskin University.

The M&E design was focused on providing energy efficient solutions yet sufficiently flexibility to accommodate the various proposed uses for the building. The project was aiming for BREEAM very good and achieved BREEAM Excellent. This is a testament to the hard work of the development team who placed an emphasis on ‘team building’ and a collaborative approach that put sustainability at the heart of the design and construction process.

The primary use of the building is for Business Innovation and Incubation, facilitating interaction between university academic and research activities and start-up companies, spin-off activities and tenant companies who will rent space at favourable rates for short-term periods at crucial stages in their growth cycle.

The team took a holistic approach to incorporating sustainability into every aspect of the project – from specifying low impact materials, through to ensuring the building has high levels of comfort, daylight, occupant control for heating, lighting and ventilation. This approach continued to the management of waste during construction and the provision of state of the art facilities for cyclists. The heating system installed is a prime example of the success of this approach. The design employed mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air conditioning for specialist rooms and areas. The design required careful coordination from all team members. For instance, the team had to account for all M&E infrastructure required to support the specialist equipment in the large workshop and individual office areas. Following the successful completion, the university now has access to a class-leading business environment for new ideas and collaboration with the University’s R&D, Bio mechanical and Engineering departments.

Environmental Design Approach

A planning requirement of the project was to achieve BREEAM Very Good and provide 20% renewables. Early engagement with the local planners helped steer both planners and the project towards fabric-first building principles. This meant that the M&E design could minimize the mechanical plant needed whilst maximizing CO2 reductions.

Given the initial scope of works and the required cooling systems, it was clear that accommodating an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) system to provide the space heating and cooling was the most favourable option, from both a practical and economic view point.

Solar PV [panels/systems] were incorporated into the design, with the quantity dependent on the available budget. Despite a significant initial capital cost, there is the potential for large CO2 reductions and a reasonable payback period, leading to profit-making due to the ability to claim against the Feed-In-Tariff.

The limited site space and the likely usage patterns of the building mean that certain technologies, such as Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP), wind turbines and combined heat and power (CHP) are not viable for the site.

A VRF heating system coupled with a solar PV system offered both the greatest running cost saving and the lowest CO2 emissions. Maximizing day lighting where possible and utilising effective lighting controls were also key to achieving an Excellent BREEAM rating.

BREEAM Excellent

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