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International Accolade For Passivhaus Project

14th May 2017 Paul Andrews

Willmott Dixon recognised for its sustainable work after the Centre for Medicine at the University of Leicester scooped prestigious international award.

The £42m building at the University of Leicester won in the Sustainable Science Building category at the awards , which recognised excellence in laboratory design, management and operation, showcasing the very best scientific facilities from 11 countries in five continents.

Willmott Dixon worked with Associated Architects, Bidwells, Gleeds, Ramboll and M&E consultants Couch Perry Wilkes to develop what is the UK's largest non-residential Passivhaus building. It is expected to reduce energy bills by six times compared to a conventional build.

James Elliment, operations manager at Willmott Dixon, who won gold at the Construction Manager of the Year awards for his role building the school, said: “Winning Sustainable Science Building at the S-Lab Awards is a testimony to the building’s environmental credentials. We are delighted the unique sustainable design has been recognised on an international stage, especially one that focused on scientific facilities. The Centre for Medicine really is a pioneering project within the higher education sector and one that we are incredibly proud of.”

The Centre for Medicine at the University of Leicester comprises a number of environmental features including a green wall made up of 75,000 individual plants, CTB blinds that track the sun and automatically close to prevent solar gain, a ground to air heat exchange system and solar PV panels.

S-Lab director Peter James, said: “The 2017 awards show that laboratory design, management and operation are changing in response to new knowledge and technologies, competitive, financial and other pressures, and user expectations. The result is better research and teaching, more cost-effective operation – which can create more resource for actual science - and reduced environmental impact.”

Willmott Dixon is a leading provider of world-class science and technology facilities and has delivered a number of iconic schemes alongside the Centre for Medicine, including the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy for the University of Cambridge, a low vibration building with an acoustic performance 10,000 times stronger than a typical office and the National Space Technology Facility in Oxford, which includes research areas that will recreate conditions in outer space.

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