Green Gown Awards 2016 Built Environment South Lanarkshire College Winner

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Mainstreaming sustainability

South Lanarkshire College, East Kilbride, constructed the first building in the UK accredited as “Outstanding” BREEAM (2014) for design and construction. The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Education opened this fully operational teaching block in February 2016. It has inspired students and other users to adopt more sustainable behaviours and approaches, reflecting the College’s philosophy to “mainstream sustainability”.

In addition to Solar PVs, an energy-efficient external envelope, and a ground source heat pump, innovative features include solar chimneys; recycled paper insulation; re-used cycle racks from the Commonwealth Games and an integrated bicycle repair station.

Following thorough consultation with groups of people with varying disabilities, the building demonstrates best practice relating to accessibility for all in its sinks, alarms, access doors, spaces and equipment.

This is a step change in design to produce a low-energy, low-carbon, low-resource building, informed by helpful lessons learned from the College’s own award-winning, low-energy, low-carbon house initiative.  The project reflects the College’s key strategic aim to “Promote Sustainable Behaviours” in every aspect of its curriculum and operations. 

Top 3 learnings

1 We learned (again) that a wide and thorough consultation with potential users during the design phase generates excellent ideas which, in our case, were captured and incorporated into the final construction

2 We learned to test and not just accept “expert advice” regarding some of the engineering design.  As a client we engaged weekly and actively with the design team to make sure the final building performed as we wanted it to.

3. We learned early on that some of the best parts of the project were the ones at risk of being most easily discarded at the “cost-savings” stage.  At all stages during the design we implemented alternative solutions for cost savings to mitigate this risk, ensuring the building performed at the end the way we wanted it to.

CO2t Savings: 770.52t    
Actual/Estimated: Estimated
No. of yrs: 30

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