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High Performing Buildings – March’s Roundup

High Performing Buildings – March’s Roundup
27 March 2024

This month’s high performing buildings roundup features Ontario’s first all-electric industrial building and multi-million-pound investments in UK universities and colleges.


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Coventry University 


Coventry University has been awarded a grant of almost £13 million to help hit its target of being net-zero by 2030. 

The grant from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which is funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, and delivered by Salix Finance Limited, will help towards the cost of installing around 1,300 new solar panels and connecting nine Coventry University buildings to the city's district energy network. It is hoped the proposals could reduce the Group’s carbon emissions by more than 1,300 tonnes per year – more than a fifth of its annual carbon emissions arising from the use of fossil fuels. 

These works are a major part of the carbon reduction actions outlined in a strategy jointly developed over the past year with consultants Turner & Townsend. 

The approximately 1,300 new solar panels will be installed at the Alma building, Cycle Works, TheHub, Sir Frank Whittle building and Elm Bank, with the latter also having new energy efficient windows installed. All the works are expected to be completed by March 2026 and will help the university to avoid grid electricity costs of more than £100,000 per year and generate zero carbon electricity for internal consumption. 



 Picture: a photograph of Coventry University's Frank Whittle Building. Image Credit: Coventry University


Bradford College


Over the last two years, Bradford College has successfully secured nearly £29 million in funding. The considerable investment will enhance, refurbish, and build new aspirational facilities in the heart of Bradford.

Three extensive Bradford College construction projects will soon take shape. Plans include: 

  • New £3.5 million vocational T Level facilities in the existing David Hockney Building. 
  • A £6.9 million refurbishment of the derelict Garden Mills building on Thornton Road.
  • Construction of a new £17 million Future Technologies Centre (FTC), also on Thornton Road. 


The projects form part of Bradford College’s ambitious estates strategy. The capital masterplan centres around building facilities that open up pioneering student careers which support regional economic growth.

A £3.5 million Department for Education (T Level Capital Fund  - Wave 5) investment will create a commercial barbering salon, nail bar, collaborative lecture spaces, TV studio, enhanced media editing and recording studios, outdoor dining facilities, and remodel of The Grove training restaurant. T Level qualifications are an alternative to A Levels and focus on the hands-on skills that employers need.

Opening in September, these latest T Level facilities follow on from £1.3 million Wave 4 funding which built impressive T Level health and early years facilities in 2023. The first phase of work incorporated five new digital teaching suites, a large collaboration science lab, a mock clinical ward, and the conversion of classrooms into inspiring indoor and outdoor nursery training rooms.

The Garden Mills refurbishment is the result of £5.8 million funding received from The Office for Students (OfS) Higher Education Capital Fund (with a £1.1 million College contribution). Bradford College was one of only five institutions nationally to receive the maximum allocation. Contractor Tilbury Douglas has finished the strip out of the 1900s five-storey building for fit-out and completion by this Summer. 

Construction of the purpose-built FTC building will begin in the Spring following the demolition of Junction Mills and surveys by contractor, Morgan Sindall. The project was made possible thanks to £15 million funding from the Department for Education’s Further Education Capital Transformation Fund (FECTF), secured in October 2022, boosted by a £2 million College contribution. 


The Fifth Line Business Park 


BentallGreenOak (BGO) has delivered Ontario’s first all-electric net-zero carbon speculative industrial building at 6750 Fifth Line in Milton, ON, one of four industrial buildings at Fifth Line Business Park owned by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada 

This first-of-its-kind 234,061-square-foot industrial building offers state-of-the-art net zero carbon specifications including, an all-electric HVAC system which is 200-300 per cent more efficient than the standard, and a 500kW rooftop solar array that negates 100 per cent of annual GHG emissions.

Energy and carbon savings, in combination with the rooftop solar array, will result in a projected 59 per cent reduction in annual operating costs in the first year, compared to a traditional new construction building (NECB 2017). It has achieved Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) Design certification and is also targeting the ZCB Performance certification.

The highly efficient facility also includes an enhanced envelope with superior roof and precast panel insulation to reduce air leakage. The all-electric building will prevent 2,151 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere in the first 10 years, which is the equivalent to removing 468 cars from the road.

Picture: a photograph of the industrial building at 6750 Fifth Line, taken from above. Image Credit: BGO

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 27 March 2024


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