University of Leicester Percy Gee Building is Only UK Finalist in Global Greenbuild Competiton

Posted by pt91 at Oct 14, 2011 11:38 AM |
Annual competition aims to jump-start the discussion on how we might retrofit entire cities to fight climate change
University of Leicester Percy Gee Building is Only UK Finalist in Global Greenbuild Competiton

Credit: Martine Hamilton Knight Photography

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 14 October 2011

Picture of Percy Gee Building available from

The winners of the 2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards have been announced at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Internationals Conference and Expo, showcasing excellence in holistic retrofitting projects from around the world. Zerofootprint founder and CEO Ron Dembo made the announcement during his breakout session on energy benchmarking and the importance of improving our older, existing stock of urban buildings to fight climate change. 

The 2011 competition was run in partnership with the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto. Winners were chosen by a jury of experts in architecture, design, and engineering: Canadian architect John Patkau; Edward Mazria, Architecture 2030 Challenge founder; Thomas Auer, energy efficient building design expert; Michael Ra, Front Inc. founding partner; Michelle Addington, Yale Architecture professor; and Dana Cuff, UCLA Architecture professor and Founding Director of sustainable urban design think tank CityLAB.

“The Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards is certainly a significant competition since re-skinning will become the most important design task for the next decades – if we want to seriously reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” says juror Thomas Auer. “The quality of the submissions had been very exciting, technically as well as aesthetically, which underlines the potential and importance of re-skinning.”

The £17 Million Percy Gee development at the University of Leicester has already won a clutch of awards since it was formally opened this year.

The multi-million pound new development transformed a building with 35 different floor levels over five storeys into a state-of-the-art facility. The transformation project, designed by architect Shepheard Epstein Hunter and constructed by Morgan Sindall plc, has changed the Percy Gee into a thriving multi-purpose Union building at the entrance to the campus.

A stunning new central atrium bathed in natural light and incorporating a social meeting place forms the centrepiece of the new development. It includes a new terrace with panoramic views over the City, new Activities Resources Centre and new restaurant called ‘1923’ after  the year the Students’ Union was founded. The building boasts a clutch of environmental features.

In addition a 1,750 capacity live music and club venue, the O2 Academy, with additional venues, O2 Academy2 Leicester (500 capacity) and O2 Academy3 (for 250 patrons) is a highlight of the facility.

The Percy Gee Project has already won the 2010 Leicester Civic Society Award for Architecture complementing the Historic Built Environment of the City of Leicester. The Civic Society panel found ‘An exciting new building constructed on an extremely difficult and sensitive site almost ringed by listed buildings in the University Campus and the historic parkland of the Welford Road Cemetery. The building is large and of a striking design yet manages to be almost unobtrusive in its setting.’ 

The 2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards winners and finalists are:

Best Overall Entry 2011:

· The Palms, Venice, California, Daly Genik Architects

Residential Category

· Winner – The Palms, Venice, California, Daly Genik Architects

Institutional Category:

· Winner – HKW Building, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany (iParch, Imagine Envelope)

· Finalist – Centre for Justice Leadership, Humber College, Toronto, Canada (Gow Hasting Architects)

· Finalist – Artscape Wynchwood Barns, Toronto, Canada (du Toit Architects Ltd.)

· Finalist – Percy Gee Building, University of Leicester, Leicester, England (Shepheard Epstein Hunter)                               

Commercial/Industrial Category:

· Finalist, Honourable Mention for Community Benefits – King and King Headquarters, Syracuse, New York (King and King Architects)

· Finalist, Honourable Mention for Resource Efficiency –  21 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand (Peddle Thorpe Aitken Architects)

· Finalist, Honourable Mention for Reproducibility – Ergo Tower, Milan, Italy (Aste and Finzi Architetti)

· Finalist, Honourable Mention for Innovative Technology – First Canadian Place, Toronto, Ontario (B+H Architects, Moed de Armas and Shannon)

· Finalist, Honourable Mention for Aesthetics and Community Benefits – Orange Cube, Lyon, France (Jakob + MacFarlane)


About the Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards

The Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards are a not-for-profit initiative of Zerofootprint. The awards showcase newly evolving re-skinning design technologies and present new ways of thinking about environmental sustainability. The purpose of the competition is to jump-start the discussion around how we might retrofit entire cities in order to massively reduce our collective environmental footprint.                 

About Zerofootprint

Zerofootprint is a cleantech software and services company that makes environmental impact measurable, visible and manageable for corporations, governments, schools, and individuals. Zerofootprint solutions mitigate environmental risk and drive cost reductions through behaviour change.

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