The £24 million, New Students’ Centre for the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has achieved a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating at the Design Stage with a score of 86.45%.
The first new building that LSE has commissioned in more than 40 years, the New Students’ Centre is being constructed on the site of the old St Philips building on Sheffield Street, next to the Peacock Theatre in London WC2. The building is due to be completed in summer 2013.
The Centre will be a standalone, six-storey development providing a mixture of facilities within a sustainable building envelope. These include the students’ union, a learning café, exercise studio, coffee bar, fitness centre, media centre, activities space and LSE’s career services. The envelope will consist of a mixture of solid and latticed, locally sourced red brick that will provide a variety of lighting effects internally and externally.
‘The New Students' Centre must have the highest design quality, environmental sustainability and procurement approach; creating a contemporary, innovative and exciting student environment.’ (LSE, October 2010.)
Close collaboration, both within the project team and with the client, has been key to the creation of a highly sustainable, BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ building. BREEAM workshops have been held and considerable care taken with supply chain selections.
The design team has taken a particularly proactive role. Sustainability measures incorporated into the design include a combined heat and power unit (CHP) to generate both heat and electricity, photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof, and a rainwater/greywater harvesting system to reduce water consumption. The design also facilitates natural ventilation and cooling.
The construction phase has a strong focus on managing energy, water and waste streams and minimising consumption – exceeding standards of best practice in site management.
The site team is harvesting rainwater for use whilst construction is in progress. They are also using a Twitter feed to keep the general public, including students who will use the building, updated on progress.
The building’s key environmental features include:
The development scored highly in most issues covered by the BREAM assessment, notably achieving 100% of the available credits in the Management, Transport and Water categories, as well as 80% of the credits for Land Use & Ecology.
John Craig, head of Osborne's Education team, said:
'This is a landmark design with green credentials that will become London's most sustainable higher education building. Delivering a BREEAM Outstanding design exceeds the brief and this rating has only been achieved by the team collaborating closely together under LSE's direction.'
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