Green UCL


New Student Centre


Located on Gordon Street in the heart of UCL’s prestigious central campus, the New Student Centre aims to provide a mix of learning spaces varying in character and size, creating different types of individual study and group collaboration settings, as well as more social learning environments. With 1000 new ‘study seats’ created, the project will be a focal point for university study and events.

The centre will be a benchmark of excellence for all future UCL development projects. The high quality design is responsive to change with flexible spaces and integrated technology, and has been designed to utilise the latest sustainable technologies.


The project is also destined to be a flagship for sustainability at the University and the team are targeting the highest possible levels of environmental performance. Going well beyond regulatory and planning requirements, an environmental assessment is being carried out with a target of BREEAM ‘Excellent’.  However, the project is currently on track to achieve the highest possible ‘Outstanding’ level, a significant achievement matched by only a handful of buildings in the UK.

As well as reducing UCL’s environmental impact, key sustainability features will also help to reduce running costs.

Benefits include:

  • ‘Passive first’ approach to design based on highly efficient building fabric which helps to regulate temperature and minimize energy use
  • · Projected 35% reduction in building carbon emissions compared to Building Regulations requirements (Part L 2013)
  • Approximately 400m2of photovoltaics (electric solar panels) on the roof providing clean, renewable energy
  • ’Free’ summer cooling using a ground source borehole system
  • Windows which automatically open to naturally ventilate the building in the spring and autumn
  • Efficient sanitary fittings will reduce water consumption by more than 50% compared to equivalent buildings
  • Healthy and productive study spaces, optimising daylight, indoor air quality and providing a comfortable internal climate
  • Highly durable materials will help to minimise resource use associated with maintenance and repairs
  • Biodiversity enhancements include planting in the Japanese Garden and a green roof which will also have a positive influence on the microclimate