Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

04 March 2020

BRE (Building Research Establishment) announced the winners of its BREEAM Awards 2020 at a gala event held on 02 March at the London Hilton Bankside Hotel, where Centre Building at the LSE picked up the BREEAM Public Projects – Post Construction Award

For thirty years the BREEAM Awards recognise the projects and organisations that provide the best balance between performance, replicability and innovation.

The judges commented that Centre Building at the LSE: “…provides a well-rounded and high-performing outcome that was well followed through to completion. The focus on maximizing passive solutions in a major city centre location was particularly noted, as was extensive use of scenario modelling throughout the design process. The design stage score had been significantly boosted at the post-construction certification stage thanks to the positive contribution and support of the constructor in identifying further opportunities and proactively seeking ways of improving their input. This included finding a way to re-site temporary living walls after completion to ensure habitat provision continued.”

The environmental design principles of Centre Building were an intrinsic part of the LSE’s brief to reduce demand for energy, increase energy efficiency and use low carbon technologies to reduce the School’s carbon footprint. RSHP and Mace championed these goals as the design developed, exceeding the client’s BREEAM target of Excellent by achieving “Outstanding” 88.9%.

The main approach was to minimise energy demand through good passive design. More than 60% of the total building area is entirely naturally ventilated, with only the enclosed teaching spaces (15%) being mechanically ventilated.

Carbon emissions are minimised by supplementing passive measures with active systems only when required, reducing energy demand through careful selection of HVAC, efficient lighting and intelligent controls together with low carbon and renewable energy sources including a PV array and a biofuel CHP Plant (fed by London’s chip fat).

Harvested water is recycled and utilised to supply the WCs, low level wash down points and the irrigation requirements of the development. Biodiversity and wellbeing are enhanced through the introduction of accessible landscaped terraces.

Centre Building’s MEP and environmental consultant, Chapmanbdsp designed a ‘carbon calculator’ for the project which mapped out the break-down of embodied and operational carbon to better inform material design decisions. Along with construction techniques – such as a high level of prefabrication and the use of recycled and low-carbon materials, utilising this tool, achieved a 35 % reduction in embodied carbon.