QMUL’s seven-storey Graduate Centre, the first of its kind in London is now open! The Graduate Centre includes 7,700 square metres of new learning and teaching space and will be the new home to the School of Economics and Finance, the Doctoral College and the Research Degrees Office.
As well as being a fantastic new space for learning, the building is also an innovative example of sustainable architecture. The new Graduate Centre building is designed to meet a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of Excellent. It is designed to improve health, wellbeing and thermal comfort for its occupants whilst reducing its energy consumption and lowering its CO2 Emissions.
The designers purposefully factored the following into the design;
- High technology, user controlled devices (including opening windows, local ventilation & temperature controls, local lighting controls etc.)
- LED lighting with daylight linking detection has been used where practicable, to help ensure lighting is only used where required.
- A combined heat and power plant is currently under construction which will reduce carbon emissions by producing on-site electricity. We can also utilise the waste heat that is produced during this process to heat nine other QMUL buildings in the winter!
- Low water consumption toilet flushing systems and showers
- The building has a Sedum mat roof incorporated on the Graduate Centre roof like the one you might have spotted in the Geography building.
- Rain garden with plant species that enhance local biodiversity has been incorporated within the landscaping.
- Water fountains are included throughout, so don’t forget your refillable bottles!
- You may also spot some of our Green Mary recycling bins located around the building!
We took a visit to the Graduate Centre last week and were impressed with the aesthetics and sustainability credentials that we saw within the building. You can see some pictures of the new building below, but remember, the building is open to all QMUL students and staff and we really recommend having a look yourself!
Some of the other sustainability features include;
- The design is a long slender shape that channels the flow of prevailing wind along the north façade to maximise natural ventilation.
- Predominantly north facing windows minimises problems with glare and excessive solar gain.
- Exposed concrete soffits in office areas offers passive cooling throughout the day.
- Mixed use of natural and mechanical ventilation design in seminar spaces with local user controls.
- Low specific fan power (SPF) ventilation units combined with high thermal efficiency heat recovery.
- High efficiency EC/DC fan coil unit motors employing variable speed control.
- Demand control ventilation where outdoor air ventilation rates are varied to match building occupancy.
- High efficiency boilers for space heating and variable temperature/variable flow heating circuits.
- High efficiency air cooled chiller operating at elevated chilled water temperatures and with free cooling facility for enhanced energy performance.
- Air conditioning system refrigerant with ozone depletion potential (ODP) of zero & Global Warming Potential of less than five
- Low NOx emissions condensing boiler & CHP plant specified.
- Sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) incorporating underground soakaways to minimise and manage stormwater impact.