University Building Receives Top Green Award

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The BSRC (Biomolecular Sciences Research Complex) has recently been awarded a top green honour.

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The state-of-the-art lab which houses researchers from Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Biology has received an ‘Outstanding’ rating from BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). It is the first ‘Outstanding’ laboratory in the UK and the first ‘Outstanding’ building in Scotland.

The BSRC has been recognised for its cutting edge sustainability credentials and its ability to divert building and energy costs into research. The building opened in December 2011 and has since been facilitating the research of around a dozen research groups with varying interests including disease, infection and immunity.

The BREEAM certification is designed to identify sustainable buildings by assessing their design, construction and operation.

The building was designed by bmj architects along the University Estates department to; minimise solar gain, include natural ventilation, have a thermal fabric, reduce air infiltration, be energy efficient and use a matrix of sustainable materials for construction. In addition the building was designed with provision of cycle racks, showers & lockers, a green travel plan, landscaping and ecology and recyclable waste storage as high priorities.

The construction of the building was undertaken by Sir Robert McAlpine. They produced some fantastic results, putting the sustainable designs into reality whilst also recycling a fantastic 92.7% of all their construction waste!

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Below is an image of the inside of the new labs before the building was opened.

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Now fully functionally, here’s what it looks like!

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BSRC Building Receives A Energy Rating

The New Biomedical Sciences Research Centre (BSRC) has been awarded an A-rated energy performance certificate.

The BSRC, on which construction was recently completed, is a world-class research facility. This means that is it an energy intensive building, and so the achievement of an A-rating energy performance certificate is very unusual and a great achievement. The A-rating is the University’s first energy award of this level.

The construction of the BSRC followed strict environmental guidelines, and as a result is highly energy efficient, built with recycled materials, and houses a combined heat and power system (CHP).

At the University of St Andrews, every new build that has been constructed since 2010 follows a very high environmental standard in accordance with our Sustainable Design Guide (here). All new buildings are built to the specifications of BREEAM Excellent, a national green building classification.

People & Planet Green League 2011 Out Today!!

Today is a rather exciting day for the Environment Team to begin the intrepid journey into the world of online blogging. Resident in the ever bustling home of the University of St Andrews Estates on East Sands, the team currently consists of 5 beavering green go-getters: Roddy Yarr (Environment manager), David Stutchfield (Energy officer), Barbara Aitken (Environment officer), Hanna Plant (Sustainability officer) and Graeme Noble (graduate engineer).

Today, the year’s efforts from the Environment Team were recognised with a 1st class award from the People & Planet Green League 2011! The League featured on the front page of the Guardian’s Education pages this morning.

 http://peopleandplanet.org/green-league-2011/table

Rising this year from a 2:1 award in 2010, St Andrews managed to secure 37 points,  coming in equal with Aberdeen University. Edinburgh Napier (the only other Scottish university to achieve 1st class) topped the Scottish universities with 44.5 points and ranking at 13th place.

The Environment Team are keen to keep up the good work and do even better next year. The Green League has always been a fantastic tool to check out the sustainability leaders and highlight the kind of sustainability leadership needed from HEI’s in the UK.

The top priority for the Team now is to ensure the ratification of the current new and revised draft Sustainable Development Policy and Strategy. We’ve all got our fingers crossed that this could be any day now!

The Green League this year also highlighted the improvements still to be made by HEI’s. As Louise Hazan (mother of the P&P Green League) quite rightly pointed out that sector’s total carbon emissions have risen by 3.9% since 2005 and that 63% of universities are not yet on track to meet government carbon reduction targets:

“This year’s results show the sector is making a clear transition towards low-carbon, sustainable operations and responding to increasing student demand for greener universities that offer value for money. However, despite clear progress in the last year on issues such as carbon management planning and student engagement, the fact that carbon emissions are still rising should sound alarm bells for Vice-Chancellors and the Government alike”.

At least now we have a blog. 🙂