Lancaster University Engineering Building

The new build scheme, constructed on a brownfield site within the existing University campus, will deliver 50,700 sq ft of workshop, laboratory and office space in two concrete- framed wings set either side of a continuous, four-storey high atrium ‘street.

The building is targeting a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating, which would be the second on the campus, and is combining multiple renewable energy sources including solar, wind and biomass provisions, tied into a campus wide district heating network as part of a visibly demonstrable sustainable design strategy.

The proposal develops Lancaster University’s current masterplan, including the demolition of a redundant sports centre to create an enlarged square in the heart of the campus, and an access spine that connects key campus facilities, both of educational and leisure/social use, further enhancing the wider University environment.
The potential of being the first University academic building to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating has led to a substantial amount of research & development by the design team including GWP Project Services. Detailed analysis of the Energy strategy and key requirement to achieve a 40% carbon emissions reduction has broken new ground in meeting BREEAM compliance for academic buildings.

Key design elements, such as thermal performance, choice of materials and department operational requirements have been scrutinised in detail and supported by formal studies such as Life Cycle Costing and Travel Plan reports to inform the decision making process.

Particular challenges for this BREEAM Assessment included working with the design team from an early stage within the design process to ensure compliance was intrinsic to the design and maintained through an intensive Value Engineering exercise, which included specific consultancy and review of elements of the design that had a considerable economic impact – such as the implementation of a rainwater harvesting system and the use of solar photovoltaics.