Cardiovascular Research Building ticks vital sustainability boxes

Posted by sll33 at Nov 26, 2013 01:35 PM |
The new Cardiovascular Research Centre is on target to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.

Both the design team and the contractor worked together to provide a building that is sustainable: socially, economically and environmentally. As a part of this, the new building has been assessed under BREEAM, which is an environmental assessment method used for new buildings (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method).

The new centre, based at Glenfield Hospital, aims to enhance the existing cardiovascular research facility already on site and is on track to achieve an  BREEAM 'Excellent' rating. The design joins together laboratory and office space, enabling world-class cardiovascular research teams to be brought together under one roof, promoting collaborative working and helping to push forward the boundaries of research.

With the emphasis placed on energy conservation and the use of Low and Zero Carbon (LZC) technologies, the building enhances the University's sustainable credentials both from an estates and public perspective. An approach has been adopted based on low energy design principles involving energy demand minimisation through good building envelope design and proficient use of services, before considering deployment of appropriate renewable technologies to decarbonise the building’s energy supply.

The Key Innovative and Low-Impact Design Features of the Building

  • To counter the effects of overheating during the summer months, solar shading has been provided on south facing façades together with solar control glazing.
  • The building construction itself is generally heavyweight with significant elements of exposed mass to help regulate the internal temperature and minimise the need for energy hungry refrigerated cooling. Exposed concrete has a high density and specific heat capacity to absorb heat generated by occupants, equipment, lighting and through solar gain during the day. In summer, purging the building over night with fresh air pre-cools the structure in preparation for the following day. During the winter period, the exposed mass retains heat for longer periods reducing the demand for morning pre-heat and thus overall space heating energy requirements.
  • In order to achieve a BREEAM excellent rating the general construction design standards adopted for the building envelope exceed the requirements of the current Part L Building Regulations.
  • The provision of good daylighting is essential in a low energy building and has been enhanced on the CSB Building through effective window and façade design. Encouraging the correct quality and quantity of daylight to penetrate the building is key to reducing the amount of light required from artificial sources and hence energy requirements.
  • Leicester City Councils planning document BE16 stipulates that at least 14% (2011) of the proposed building’s estimated operational energy demand is delivered from an approved renewable source. This is satisfied via the provision of a gas fired Combined Heat and Power unit interfaced with an Absorption Chiller (Tri-Generation) which delivers the base cooling load imposed by freezer rooms and server rooms.
  • Enhancement of the local ecology has been possible with the planting of a wild flower meadow located locally on the grounds of the hospital.

Read the full report here.

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