UCL 2034


Building a sustainable future for UCL

At UCL we seek to embed sustainability in all our practices. Through the best in low-impact architectural design and build techniques, to philanthropic endeavours that enrich our student experience through volunteering, we strive to create a forward-thinking environment that will be the pride of generations to come.

PEARL – making infrastructure inclusive

CGI image of UCL's PEARL project, credit: Penoyre & Prasad
A world-leading facility is opening in Dagenham to study human interaction with the built environment. It will be UCL’s first net zero carbon building, and it’s huge.

At 4,000m2 and 10m high, PEARL (Person-Environment-Activity Research Laboratory) will be the only space in the world large enough for researchers to precisely simulate life-sized, controlled condition environments such as a railway station or high street. By altering the materials, lighting, sounds and even smells, researchers will explore how the design of an environment can improve quality of life.

Researchers will study both the flow of people and interactions at a micro-scale, including brain activity and skin response. They will monitor how the space affects behaviour such as stress and fear, and and perceptions of safety, fairness, culture and inclusion. Data from the laboratory will generate unique insights into how we experience public spaces, with potential for a wide scope of applications across the arts and sciences.

CGI image of UCL's PEARL project, credit: Penoyre & Prasad

The Student Centre

Student centre looking down over stairways
Having fast established itself at the heart of our Bloomsbury campus the Student Centre marked its first anniversary in February, and has continued to gain recognition with a special prize in the 2020 Prix Versailles Awards for architecture. 

The centre is not only a joy to spend spend time in but is as high performance as buildings get, achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating reflecting its exceptional environmental, social and economic sustainability. 

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every single day of the year the centre has seen its 1,672,603th visitor passing through the security gates and the 39,179th walk-in enquiry to our Student Enquiries Centre. We are so proud to be able to offer this outstanding space to our students and are thrilled to see it so well-received.

It's All Academic

Female scientist working at desk
Philanthropy is the ally of radical curiosity, and this year we completed the largest fundraising campaign in UCL’s history. It’s All Academic ran from September 2016 to July 2020, achieving its targets a year ahead of schedule. Our community raised a staggering £624 million, and gave over 263,000 volunteering hours to help the university.

Made possible by the collaboration of all 11 UCL faculties and our colleagues across professional services, the campaign enables UCL to continue its mission to make the world a better place for us all. £432m will support our pioneering work in health research. £70m for student support to improve access to our world-class education. £121 million for new buildings and equipment, and £114 million for new and emerging disciplines. 

We are hugely grateful to all who have supported the campaign, whose generosity will ensure UCL’s position at the forefront of new knowledge for years to come.

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