PA157/09 The University of Nottingham has won a prestigious Times Higher Education award for its transformation of a brownfield site into an ‘outstanding’ modern campus.
Judges praised the cutting-edge sustainable design and construction principles used in this latest phase of development – a £30m expansion of the Jubilee Campus that features architecturally stunning new buildings and the tallest freestanding sculpture in the UK.
This expansion, which was officially opened by HRH the Duke of Gloucester in March 2009, occupies a former brownfield site that was once home to the Raleigh Bicycle factory and is now a key element of Nottingham’s inner-city regeneration.
The development has pioneered the use of heat-exchange units submerged in an artificial lake to provide all the heating and cooling requirements for its iconic new buildings. This renewable energy system, an environmentally-friendly alternative to fossil fuel powered conventional boilers, means that the new buildings rely solely on reversible heat pumps that exchange energy with the on-site lake. The design also incorporates many energy-saving features, including the use of exposed concrete to regulate internal temperatures, and facades that are less than 50 per cent glazed and angled to avoid overheating from the sun while also ensuring good levels of natural light. Professor Alan Dodson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Infrastructure, was presented with the award for ‘Outstanding Estates Initiative’ at the inaugural Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Awards, held at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel in London. Professor Dodson said: “Sustainable design and high-quality construction were the guiding principles for Phase I of the Jubilee Campus when it opened in 1999, and these principles continue to be at the core of our work to develop and improve all the University’s campuses. “This award is a fantastic tribute to the University’s leadership in the area of modern, responsible design – and to the architects and building companies involved in this landmark project.” Ann Mroz, editor of Times Higher Education, said of the winning entry: “A commitment to sustainability and quality was key to the success of the University of Nottingham’s transformation of a brownfield site into the vibrant Jubilee Campus. Its use of green technology in particular was admirable.” The opening of the latest phase is the culmination of a significant project to incorporate an Innovation Park as part of the expansion of the campus, broadening the range of activity at the site. This phase includes: - The Sir Colin Campbell Building, which accommodates the University’s Technology Transfer Office, as well as significant rentable space for commercial entities.
- International House, which accommodates the International Office, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies and the Centre for English Language Education.
- The Amenities Building, which contains a student services centre, multi-faith rooms, a cafeteria, lecture rooms and accommodation.
- ’Aspire’, funded by an anonymous benefactor, the 60-metre steel latticework sculpture is the highest freestanding piece of public art in the UK. Designed by the nationally renowned Ken Shuttleworth of MAKE architects, the iconic new buildings incorporated the many energy saving features described in response to the University’s brief to prioritise sustainability. Patrick Finch, Director of Estates at the University of Bristol and a member of the Times Higher Education judging panel, said: “Nottingham’s entry demonstrates cutting-edge standards with regard to green issues. The design and the way it has been integrated into the community illustrates absolute innovation in driving sustainability forward.” The University beat shortlisted entries in the category from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE), Keele University, Brunel, Middlesex and the University of Winchester. Nottingham was also shortlisted in the category of ‘Outstanding HR Initiative’ for its innovative Graduate Trainee Programme. The Programme places Nottingham graduates in a series of departments and schools within the University, over a 12-month period, to give them a grounding in university administration and help them develop into the managers and leaders of the future. Four trainees were appointed after a challenging selection process, embarking on the programme in October 2008 to gain experience of key components of the university operation and build an understanding of the institution’s strategy. The Graduate Trainee Programme is unprecedented at the University of Nottingham and one of the first in the sector. Unlike other programmes, it provides a set of experiences which an administrator would normally take a number of years to accumulate.