University of Leeds appoint CPW for new showcase energy research building

The University of Leeds is building a new state-of-the-art 3400 m2 Energy Research Building and has awarded sustainability experts, Couch Perry & Wilkes a contract for the complete design of the £2.8m mechanical and electrical, and above ground services. The overall project is valued at £7.9 million and will be completed by July 2011.

The new laboratory and offices sit within the Faculty of Engineering and will be an international showcase for energy research, raising the global profile for the University of Leeds. The building will accommodate research groups looking at a wide range of alternative energy systems, including energy from biomass, energy materials, fuel cell research, energy and material recycling from waste, carbon sequestration, and the environmental impact of emissions from energy related activities, including road and air transport.

As one of the UK’s leading experts in sustainable and low energy building, Couch Perry & Wilkes which has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, Cambridge and Nottingham has an energy target for the new building of 80 KWH/m2/annum and an anticipated EPC rating of 35 which is a B.

Couch Perry & Wilkes will be incorporating a range of environmental and energy saving measures to the building. From solar hot water generation, extensive zone control on the heating services distribution and waste heat source from an onsite CHP generating station, through to passive solar glazing designed to minimise solar gains, free cooling chillers, occupancy sensing, and demand driven ventilation using variable speed fan motors to minimise electrical consumption. The building will be at the forefront of energy efficiency.

Simon Seaton-Smith, Director at Couch Perry & Wilkes, said: “This is an exciting project and enables our team of specialists to integrate sustainability at the early stage of building.

“Incorporating a metering strategy will also allow the University of Leeds to monitor where energy is being used and an intelligent BEMS control will ensure the systems maintain optimum performance. The finished building will have impressive sustainability credentials and be a great example, both here in the UK and internationally, for what can be achieved in a low energy building.”

Brian Ford, Head of Capital Development at Estate Services, the University of Leeds, said “The new building and laboratories will underpin energy research in alternative energy systems so it was vital that energy saving technology was utilised throughout. Demolishing the existing laboratory and starting from scratch gave us a completely clean slate and allowed us to push the boundaries of sustainability. We appointed Couch, Perry & Wilkes from our engineering framework due to their proven success and expertise in designing low energy laboratory research buildings.”

The design and construction team consists of architects, Fairhursts Design Group; BAM Construction, WSP Structural Engineers and quantity surveyor, Arcadis.