Showing the way to low carbon-dioxide emissions and sustainability in new projects

Substantially better than Building Regulations that were still in draft stage, City Campus East at the University of Northumbria.
FaberMaunsell’s innovative approach to sustainable design won the new-build project of the year award. The City Campus East development at Northumbria University had sustainability as a guiding theme from its inception. Dave Burton, regional director for FaberMaunsell and project manager, says, ‘It is a working example of how inspired design and quality of construction can deliver exceptional value and sustainability, within budget. This £100 million development comprises two buildings near the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne. It opened in September 2007, and 9000 students occupy the site, which accommodates the law, business and design schools. The design team decided at an early stage to exceed the requirements of the then draft Part L of the 2006 Building Regulations. The as-built emissions of carbon dioxide exceed the Part L 2006 requirements by 27.3%, amounting to 250 t of carbon dioxide a year for the development. A further aid to sustainability was the recycling of 95% of material from the site of the former cinema. Ultra-high efficiency boilers and chillers have been used, and high levels of air tightness have been achieved. There are 44 m2 of solar thermal collectors to generate hot water and a swooping convex and concave brise-soleil system to minimise solar gains. The mixed-mode ventilation system has a thermal wheel in the mechanical ventilation system to recover energy. The use of daylight is maximised by a light well that pierces the roof and extends right down to the ground floor. Courtyard walls use a translucent insulating material to balance daylight, thermal insulation and overheating. Site-wide building-management and lighting systems include dimming in response to available daylight and motion sensors. Rainwater is harvested and used to flush toilets. On the evidence provided so far, the project has achieved a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating, and is expected to achieve ‘excellent’ when all data has been submitted.

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