Sustainable Buildings

The Environmental Sustainability team advises the design teams on all building projects to ensure that due consideration is given to their environmental sustainability impact. 

From mid-2017 onwards the design process will utilises the Passivhaus methodology and tools. Passivhaus is at the cutting edge of low energy design and has proven it can deliver comfortable buildings that perform as designed.  This approach will continue to move the University towards best practice and it is expected that an increasing number of buildings will eventually be Passivhaus certified.

As well as improving the University’s ability to hit its challenging carbon reduction targets, adopting the Passivhaus methodology is expected to provide other benefits including greater protection from rises in energy prices, reductions in building complexity and maintenance costs, and more comfortable structures in which staff can be more productive.

The University previously utilised the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) for major new construction and refurbishment projects. The University has sought an ‘Excellent’ rating for all projects over £1m since 2009. 

Due to the length of the construction project cycle, the University will continue to seek a BREEAM Excellent rating for buildings commencing the design phase prior to mid-2017.

How are we contributing to developing sustainable buildings?

  • Supporting implementation of the BREEAM methodology for developments commencing prior to 2017 and Passivhaus for those post 2017.
  • Many recent University capital projects demonstrate significant sustainable construction features, such as ground source heat pump systems (Earth Sciences and Andrew Wiles buildings) and integrated photovoltaic panels (Biochemistry building).