Universities face a huge challenge to meet national carbon emission reduction targets, especially when we consider their ageing estates and growing student numbers. UCL’s campus is no exception, comprising a diverse mix of buildings of varying age and usage.
Expedition were commissioned by UCL to develop an Energy Management Strategy, to review how the existing building stock could be improved and to set standards for new building projects.
We worked with UCL to help them understand their energy usage, appraise energy management processes and set out a clear roadmap to implement low carbon solutions over the next decade. A key part of this work was to identify possible efficiency upgrades for the existing campus-wide CHP system.
Following on from this work, we have been lead consultant for delivering the Sustainability and Energy Strategies on a number of projects across UCL’s campus, including the refurbishment of 22 Gordon Street and the flagship New Student Centre.
With existing buildings responsible for a significant share of total carbon emissions, we have been advising UCL on transforming their existing estate into energy efficient buildings. For example, at 22 Gordon Street, retaining the existing concrete structure has helped to minimise the embodied carbon impact of the project. Furthermore, leaving some of this thermal mass exposed will aid passive heating and cooling strategies minimising energy use.
We worked closely with the design team on UCL’s New Student Centre to cost effectively integrate cooling pipework into the underside of the concrete floor slabs. Circulating cooled water directly from the ground (via boreholes), through this pipework, is anticipated to provide significant energy savings compared to traditional methods of cooling.
By taking a holistic view to energy use across the Bloomsbury Campus we have been able to identify opportunities that maximise development potential for UCL at the same time as reducing carbon emissions.