Unsustainable pressure on static infrastructure budgets from increasing energy costs threatened the direct science budget at the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre. A multi-faceted approach was undertaken to dramatically reduce environmental impact, enhance the energy saving culture and reduce costs, crucially protecting the budget allocated for cancer research.
A dogged approach to secure funding and the engagement of all stakeholders, crucially the building occupants and engineers, to embrace a creative novel (in UK) technical solution, enhance the centre environmental culture and improve the laboratory environment were key achievements.
Installing an innovative Demand Ventilation Control system ultimately enabled the goals to be achieved with a payback of <2 years. Total gas consumption was reduced by 41% and electricity by 9% saving >£67,000/annum and reducing Carbon emissions by 422 tonnes/annum.
The transferability of this approach and technology can have a dramatic positive impact on the HE and other sectors.
1 To improve the environmental performance of an institution consideration of the performance of the building itself as well as the behaviour of the occupants is essential
2 To effect change in the environmental culture of an organisation, a successful team is one with the combination of enthusiasm, responsibility to implement and senior authority
3 The promotion and publicising of your successes encourages others.
Sometimes institutions need to be leaders in applying existing technology to new areas. This project does this very effectively by applying variable ventilation controls to complex and high risk laboratory settings to good effect. The demonstraion of the short payback period is persuasive and should enable other institutions also to take the plunge.
“Winning this award is notonly a welcome recognition of excellence in the sector, but rewards and highlights the positive steps Cambridge has taken. It acts as a catalyst, thus encouraging more activity and awareness around sustainability bystaff and students in Cambridge.”
Professor Jeremy Sanders FRS
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs