Student eco-village is rated ‘outstanding’ on BREEAM scale

A £40m campus development at Bradford University has broken the world record for environmental design after it achieved 95.05 per cent on the BREEAM scale — the highest grade ever issued to any building.

The public/private development, aptly named The Green, consists of 1,026 single rooms within six- and seven-storey self-catered apartments and four-storey townhouses built around a pond.

The eco-village was developed by Listerhills Sustainable Student Village, a joint venture between Welbeck Land and the Hayat Group.

It is one of only 15 buildings in the world with the top ‘outstanding’ rating and the first multi-residential building in the UK to qualify for this status.

‘It was fantastic to hear that we had been awarded an ‘outstanding’ classification and we’re all very proud. The project is up there with the most sustainable in the world and that’s great,’ said Chris Guyatt, an architect from Goddard Wybor Practice who worked on The Green.

‘From the outset, we aimed to design a highly sustainable building and, in order to quantify this, we measured it against the BREEAM scale,’ he added.

The BREEAM scale incorporates aspects relating to energy and water use, the internal environment (health and wellbeing), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.

Guyatt said that a variety of features were included to ensure that the development was as sustainable as possible and scored highly with BREEAM.

The accommodation has been built using a prefabricated panelised timber-frame system. This allows the highly insulated wall and floor panels to be manufactured off-site from FSC-certified timber and reduces waste. The rooms only require 100W to be heated, due to the highly efficient insulation methods.

The bathrooms are also pre-assembled and delivered to site as prefabricated pods with showers and toilets already installed, pre-plumbed and fully tiled.

Water-saving measures include the installation of aerated taps and showers that result in less water being used as the water streams are mixed with air. Water is heated by rooftop solar panels and water harvesting, for sources such as toilet water, occurs at the pond and on rooftops. Low-energy lighting has also been installed across the project.

There are interactive displays showing students what energy or water they are using, which enables them to compare their energy use with their neighbours. Similarly, a team of Green Ambassadors will teach fellow residents how to live in the most sustainable way possible.

Martin Townsend, director of BREEAM, said: ’The success of The Green is not only a clear demonstration of  what can be achieved using current best practice in construction, but also of how the use of innovative technology can be applied to drive energy efficiency and provide real time data to students – so that they can understand the impact of the decisions they make and how energy from the renewables is being used.’

Guyatt emphasised the cost benefits of the design.

‘The cost of The Green was £30,000 for a study bedroom, which is below the industry average,’ he said. ‘As long as sustainability is addressed from the outset it does not have to increase cost and, over the lifespan of the building, it will make considerable savings due to the sustainable features that have been included.’

The Green is part of the wider £150m Listerhills development. One of the next buildings to go up is The Triangle; a £6m project that will consist of 50 per cent student accommodation and 50 per cent visitor accommodation.

Alongside the student accommodation, planning permission has been obtained to deliver managed workspace, academic and healthcare facilities. Listerhills itself is part of the city’s £750m learning quarter, which is being delivered by Mi7 Developments, the project-management company for the Hayat Group in partnership with Welbeck Land.