Willmott Dixon will build University of Leicester’s £42m Centre for Medicine to Passivhaus standards, providing a super insulated six-storey campus that will be home to the University’s College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology departments.
When complete in 2015, the Centre for Medicine will become the hub for leading medical academics at the University, bringing together medical research and education under one roof.
Covering 12,836m2, the building will house teaching rooms, offices, lecture theatres, dry lab research facilities and support spaces to more than 2,350 staff and students.
Last year, Willmott Dixon was appointed by the London Borough of Camden to build a 53-home development that was then the UK’s largest residential Passivhaus scheme. Now the company will work with Associated Architects to deliver what it says is the largest non-residential building by floor area to meet the Passivhaus criteria for a super-insulated shell that requires little or no additional heating other than that supplied by the occupants.
To achieve the Passivhaus standard, the Centre for Medicine has been designed to include features that minimise its energy use, including a subsoil heat exchange system to pre-warm and pre-cool incoming air, heat recovery mechanisms within the ventilation system, and automated exterior window blinds to keep rooms cool in summer, as well as super-insulation, triple glazing and LED lighting throughout.
Peter Owen, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, said: “Passivhaus has been used on residential developments for a number of years and now its energy efficiency benefits are being adopted more widely. We are delighted to be at the forefront of this movement towards Passivhaus given our experience in Camden, which has been valuable learning for our team with the support of our in-house consultancy Re-Thinking. The University of Leicester’s Centre for Medicine will be an exemplar of modern construction methods, providing students and staff with a state-of-the-art, energy efficient learning environment.”