Students Staff

14 May 2012

Sustainable design to be championed by Essex Business School’s new £21 million building

Design for Essex Business School, north west elevation

The new £21 million home for Essex Business School will champion sustainable design.

Plans for the landmark building at the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus have just been approved by Colchester Borough Council with work starting this September and a completion date set for early 2014.

Leading interdisciplinary practice BDP has integrated a range of sustainable design features plus Low and Zero Carbon (LZC) Technology into the design. This reflects Essex Business School’s ethos of encouraging the development of sustainable business strategies.

At the heart of the design is a winter garden which will act as an environmental buffer zone, supporting the passive ventilation and heating strategy of the three storey building.

The project aims to achieve an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating – the internationally-recognised system for assessing sustainable buildings.

The building, which is being created next to the University’s new Knowledge Gateway research park, will offer a flagship home for Essex Business School, which has seen a 50 per cent increase in the number of undergraduate and postgraduate students over the last five years.

The designs include formal and informal learning and teaching spaces, a 200-seater lecture theatre, state-of-the-art ICT provision, social spaces and a café.

Professor Michael Sherer, director of Essex Business School, said: “This will be a landmark new building, which will support our aims of establishing ourselves as one of the leading business schools in the UK and attracting outstanding students, particularly at Masters and PhD level.

“We have seen a rapid rise in student numbers over the past five years and our new building will offer a unique learning environment for our distinctive courses.

“Our new home will also be a leading example of sustainable construction through its zero-carbon design, build and management, which supports our mission to be one of the greenest business schools in the UK.”

BDP’s designs emphasise a high level of energy efficiency and the appropriate use of green technology.

The building will incorporate several Low and Zero Carbon Technologies including:

Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) - A 50kW GSHP system is being proposed to provide renewable heating and cooling to the building. The system will provide heating to offices and the Atria and also at the same time provide cooling to the server rooms and Main Lecture Theatre.

Photovoltaic (PV) Panels -The building will be orientated to make maximum benefit of solar energy, both through passive heat gains and PV energy. The PV array on the roof of the main building will offset more than 20 per cent of the building’s carbon emissions.

The designs will minimise energy use by:

• Using natural ventilation wherever possible;

• Installing smart meters which are integrated with the Building Management System (BMS);

• Specifying highly efficient plant and equipment including ICT;

• Maximising the use of daylight within the building;

• Using lighting controls and high efficiency fittings;

• Harvesting rainwater and utilising water efficiency measures;

• Emphasising airtightness and high levels of insulation to assist heat conservation in the winter and prevent unwanted heat gain in the summer;

• Installing high-efficiency variable speed pumps and ventilation fans.

The building will also be designed to be able to integrate a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system as part of a future strategic energy management plan for the wider University site.

Notes to editors

High-resolution images of the designs for the new building are available on request. For more information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377.

For more information on Essex Business School please visit

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