University College London

Greengage were appointed as sustainability consultants and SKA assessors, for the recently completed, redesign and full refurbishment of the ground floor and basement of the UCL Estates building at 1-19 Torrington Place.

As part of the Bloomsbury University campus, the space now allows for an increased student occupancy, featuring 10 new high-quality teaching rooms, supporting different teaching/learning methods and practices. The project also includes a reconfigured reception area and several collaborative and individual break-out spaces to allow for improved circulation and accessibility.

Sustainable fit-outs result in more comfortable, cleaner and more cost-efficient working environments, an essential part to the UCL’s values and ethos.

In accordance with the SKA guidance, the project took into consideration the potential for improved biodiversity, energy & CO2, materials (including fixtures and furnishing), pollution, transport, waste, water use, wellbeing and project delivery.

Greengage worked closely with the design and construction team to ensure that the environmental performance objectives were embedded into the design and procurement process from an early stage. A pre-assessment workshop outlined the sustainability and environmental considerations of the project in line with the targeted SKA Good Practice Measures (GPMs).

Key features of the sustainable design included energy efficient lighting with zonal controls tailored specifically for teaching and individual work spaces. Energy and water efficient equipment and sanitaryware were also specified to reduce operational consumption. Material items (including furniture items) were selected and specified based on their recycled content and certification in accordance with FISP, BIFMA and Cradle to Cradle Silver or above. All timber and timber-based products specified and used on site were PEFC/FSC certified.

A specific challenge noted for consideration on future schemes is balancing the stringent SKA materials and fit out specification with the design and cost aspirations of the University and design team.

As a result of specifying the refurbishment in accordance with the SKA criteria, the project has been able to target a Silver accreditation.

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