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UCL’s New Student Centre is a flagship development in the heart of Bloomsbury. With no clear brief on quite how the building would be used we worked closely with the design team to develop a building that is flexible and adaptable to a range of different needs at the same time as minimising resource consumption. Working with Nicholas Hare Architects we considered how technology and the future of education would influence the layout of the building.

By engaging with the client and design team early on, defining a shared sustainability vision, and using frameworks like BREEAM in a useful way, we were able to add real value to the project and achieve high levels of sustainability and energy performance cost effectively.

We led discussions on how to achieve sustainability in different aspects of the project including: operational and embodied energy, water conservation, healthy material choices, recycling, building performance and adaptability.

Early collaboration with the architect and engineers led to cooling pipework being easily and cost effectively integrated into the underside of concrete floor slabs, facilitating efficient space cooling while saving internal space. Passive and low energy sources of cooling complement this strategy, helping to achieve a 35% carbon reduction against Part L 2013.

The project has received BREEAM Outstanding for its design stage assessment, representing best practice in sustainable design and construction, and takes the building performance well beyond regulatory minimum standards.

BREEAM Case Study

Selected awards

RIBA National Award winner 2021
Civic Trust Awards winner
AJ Architecture Awards, Higher Education winner
Building Awards, Building Performance winner
Building Awards, Project of the Year shortlisted
ICE Judges Inspiration Award winner
Concrete Society Awards highly commended




Daniel Raymond

Client: University College London

Architect: Nicholas Hare Architects

Status: Complete


Professional photographs and renders courtesy of Nicholas Hare Architects
Site photograph courtesy of UCL

UCL Student Centre