The building provides around 3,000m2 of additional floor area compared to the old Wates House on the same site, doubling the amount of teaching and research space available to the school’s students and staff.
The new building has excellent environmental credentials in line with UCL’s clear ambition to deliver a sustainable estate to support its academic mission. Efforts to reduce the building’s impact and optimise the health and wellbeing of occupants have been championed by UCL Estates and addressed in detail by the project team.
The decision to retain the reinforced concrete structure of the original building not only provides a link to the past and the history of architecture at UCL, but also significantly reduces materials use and embodied carbon emissions associated with a complete new build.
The project has achieved an overall environmental rating of ‘BREEAM Excellent’ at final certification. This represents best practice in sustainable design and construction; and takes the building performance well beyond regulatory minimum standards.
Other prominent sustainability features include:
- Improved energy performance through enhanced building fabric and low energy systems such as high heat recovery and free cooling. Carbon emissions will be at least 30% lower than requirements of Building Regulations (Part L 2010)
- The building’s energy supply will be supplemented using solar (photovoltaic) panels which will generate clean, renewable electricity
- Healthy and productive teaching spaces - bringing light into the building and specifying healthy materials
- Promotion of sustainable transport options including provision of almost 100 cycle parking spaces·
- Reduced water consumption through specification of more efficient sanitary fittings
- Low levels of construction and demolition waste with high levels of recycling
- Enhanced biodiversity of the campus through the provision of a green roof
- Creation of an adaptable and flexible building ensuring high level of future-proofing
- Specification of new construction materials with excellent environmental ratings
- The environmental strategy will follow seasonal weather variations, allowing the building to work alongside the external environment, reducing its reliance on active heating and cooling.