University of Arts - Wimbledon


University of Arts London A new build zero carbon BREEAM “Outstanding” exemplar building within a conservation area, for University of Arts London, designed as a simple, flexible enclosure with excellent natural light and ventilation. Sustainable measures include North-South orientation, a high performance envelope, controlled natural ventilation, rainwater harvesting and photovoltaic solar collection. Innovative lightweight structure enabling no wet trade construction, but environmentally achieving thermal heavyweight conditions.

  • Detailed in accordance with Passivhaus standards. Achieving air permeability of 1m2/m2/hr @50 Pascals (Building Regulations standard is currently 5m2/hr/m2). High performing walls, roof and windows achieving 0.15 and 1.2w (/m2K).
  • Environmental requirements, functionality, flexibility and speed of construction being top priorities, meant that the building was designed with thermal mass to all surfaces; floors, walls and ceilings and with as many pre-fab elements as possible and studios clear of structure.
  • The use of timber for the structural frame ensured lower than average embodied carbon per m2 in the primary structure compared to a typical steel or concrete framed building.  The exposed timber structure also provides a warm natural aesthetic while saving material on further finishes.
  • The bespoke design of the exposed precast floor and roof planks provides the required thermal mass using the minimum depth of concrete, which minimises overall weight.
  • 80mm deep cement bonded particle board to walls (achieves thermal mass whilst maintaining a lightweight building and possible to drill into easily and showcase artwork).
  • High performance envelope maximising natural daylight and ventilation, nighttime cooling, rainwater harvesting, lighting and ventilation controlled via BMS with overrides etc.
  • A Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) in the form of permeable paving with attenuation tank below provides effective pollution control while reducing surface water runoff from the site.  This reduces risk of future flooding due to climate change.

The project was awarded BREEAM “Outstanding”, the highest recorded score in the Education Sector, and the second highest BREEAM score in the world. It has achieved an array of award and accolades, including:

  • Ashden Prize Winner, New London Awards (NLA) 2016
  • RICS Award 2016
  • Green Apple Award winner 2014
  • Included in the 2015 “Open House” forum 2015