A new low carbon teaching building, which was the first to achieve an outstanding rating in the BREEAM Construction assessment process, was shortlisted in the prestigious Green Gown Awards 2016, which recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK and Ireland.
The South Lanarkshire College Low Carbon Teaching Building, which was designed by architects, Austin-Smith:Lord, Was a winner in the Built Environment category of the Green Gown Awards. The building is also deemed to excel in all ten categories under BREEAM.
The Green Gown Awards are made by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) which promotes the role the education sector can play in ensuring the next generation is equipped with the skills and experience required to provide a sustainable future.
The Awards recognise pioneers that are taking the bold steps that are necessary to develop resilience and adaptability and to showcase the education sector’s contribution to society. Catherine Cosgrove, lead architect says: “Our brief from South Lanarkshire College was a very simple one – to design a new eight classroom teaching building that achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating. Construction is one of the three core departments within the College and the Client team wanted to experience every part of the design and construction of a low energy building. They intended to use the process as part of their teaching curriculum, something that worked well for them previously when they built a low energy exemplar house on the campus.
“Particular attention was paid to planning methods of post occupancy evaluation. Not only is this monitoring a requirement of the BREEAM “Outstanding” target but it can also be integrated into the construction curriculum. The intention is that the students will play an ongoing role in monitoring and assessing the performance of the building throughout its life. “It is hugely rewarding to be involved in such an exemplary project which has education at its core,” she adds.
With BRE as a sustainability advisor, South Lanarkshire College initially developed a BREEAM pre-assessment for the project at inception stage and included this as part of the brief. Austin-Smith: Lord, working with Will Rudd Davidson and Cundall, developed the design to meet these requirements and making best use of the natural resources of the site.
Angus Allan Deputy Principal of South Lanarkshire College said: “South Lanarkshire College has Sustainability as a key aim. All three of the college’s buildings on its campus have ground source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels to reduce the college’s reliance on energy production from fossil fuels. This new building takes the college a step forward. It has a highly-insulated shell, innovative solar chimneys for ventilation, rainwater harvesting for flushing toilets and a net-zero energy footprint. We are very pleased that it has been shortlisted for such a prestigious award.”