Science Centre builds further on environmental performance

10 November 2016
Science building facade
The new Science Building showcasing a successful collaboration between the Faculty of Science and Property Services

The University’s new Science Centre is a striking addition to the city campus, but beyond the eye-catching exterior lie a range of cutting-edge innovations designed to take sustainable operations to a new level.

Alongside state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities, a variety of features have been incorporated in the 11-storey block which make sustainability an integral part of the building’s design and operation, says Senior Project Manager, Capital and Planning Projects, Grant Johnstone.

“The building’s high-tech façade with double glazing, along with sophisticated, energy-efficient heating, cooling and air handling systems, are designed to minimise heating and cooling requirements.

“The design maximises natural light, and includes other features such as energy-saving LED lighting, with sensors to switch off lights in unoccupied areas, and comprehensive metering to track and correct inefficient use of energy and water. Timbers used in the building were certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure they were sourced from responsibly managed forests.”

Open-plan, generic work spaces will see researchers working more closely together, maximising the efficiency of fit-out and resource use and offering the potential for more interdisciplinary working.

Colleen Seth, Associate Director, Development, says: ”This building presented particular challenges due to the complex and diverse needs associated with science. These range from specialist laboratory equipment, such as fume cupboards for the School of Chemistry, to the need for relaxed spaces for participants in clinical research in the School of Psychology.”

The challenges were overcome thanks to the strong working relationship between Property Services and the Faculty, which had champions in each major school and clear strategic principles from the outset.

Colleen says the property builds on innovations and experiences accumulated in developing other university properties, and is the latest example of the ongoing application of sustainable principles.

Image Colleen Seth and Grant Johnstone
Colleen Seth and Grant Johnstone of Property Services discuss sustainable design principles applied to the new Science building.

“The approach throughout has been to incorporate sustainability within wider principles of good design.”

Peter Fehl, Property Services Director, adds: “Sustainability also relates to the manner in which a building blends with its surroundings, enhances the urban environment, and celebrates, as in this case, its relationship to its neighbours. 

“The way in which this building lifts the surrounding cityscape and celebrates the past as well as looking to the future is testament to the outstanding work of our consultants, led on this very challenging project by Colleen and Grant, and with significant input from Property Services Technical Services team under the stewardship of Paul Duval.”

Since sustainability is ultimately about people, staff and students are also being reminded about day-to-day actions they can take, such as switching off equipment when not in use; avoiding running water to waste in laboratory equipment; and using dedicated bins to separate office paper, cardboard, bottles and cans, and printer cartridges.

For more information, contact:

Faculty of Science Sustainability Network

Sustainability Office