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  • Buildings

The University's buildings range from the historic Grade II listed main building, parts of which date back to the 17th Century, through to brand new teaching facilities. The University is committed to taking opportunities to sensitively incorporate appropriate sustainability measures when new buildings are constructed or existing buildings are refurbished.

Sir Emrys Jones Centre

The University's 2011 teaching development incorporates a range of sustainability measures.

The facilities are structured around a central atrium. This has been carefully designed in order to minimise excessive solar gain whilst making the most of natural light. Where possible, internal spaces also have roof lights. Where additional lighting is required, low energy lights, equipped with movement and daylight sensors, are used. Rainwater is collected in an underground tank and is used to reduce the amount of mains water needed to flush the lavatories.

The building is heated via the biomass district heating system and heat is distributed within the building through a zoned heating system. The classrooms also use a natural ventilation system. Air flows in through automatic vents in the classroom windows, then through transfer grilles into the central atrium before being vented out through the atrium rooflights. The system uses the natural air flow which is generated as a result of the wind and differences in air temperature and humidity between the inside and outside the building.

In order to minimise the amount of waste produced during the process of construction, where feasible, materials were salvaged or recycled. This was particularly significant to this project as it involved the partial demolition of an existing building. Materials which were salvaged include the masonry walling (which was crushed and re-used as fill). The steel roof and portal frame components from the original building were also recycled. As the new building was built on the footprint of the previous one, the existing ground floor slab was also retained, thereby reducing the need for new concrete. Where concrete was required, the aggregate came from recycled stone, and concrete blocks and gravel were purchased from a local gravel works site, therefore reducing the distance they needed to be transported.

Support Services / Sports Facilities Building

This building also incorporates a range of environmental measures which are similar to the new teaching facilities. These include rainwater harvesting and low energy lighting with movement and daylight sensors. In addition the building is also heated via the biomass district heating system. As with Sir Emrys Jones Centre and Rural Innovation Centre, sustainability and waste minimisation measures were also integrated into the building process.

Renewable Energy Technologies

The library, Parkinson Lecture Theatre and support services/sports building, as well as the Sir Emrys Jones Centre and Garner Block teaching facilities are heated via a biomass district heating system. The Rural Innovation Centre is powered by photovoltaic panels and an air source heat pump. An air source heat pump is also used for heating and hot water in the sports pavilion.

More information on renewable technologies at the University can be found on the carbon and energy page.