We are committed to creating sustainable buildings at the University. Our goal is to endeavour to introduce sustainable factors into all new buildings and refurbishments, and to aim for the highest environmental standards that we can whilst achieving our academic priorities.

To meet this objective the University now uses the Building Research Establishments Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) when undertaking new building and refurbishment projects.

Sustainable Construction Initiatives

We are actively working towards a more sustainable campus in the following ways:

  • Sustainable Buildings – The Creative Arts Building has been awarded a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating. Where viable, future projects will be designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ status.
  • Building Refurbishment – We have an excellent track record of refurbishing and bringing back into use redundant buildings. Examples of these are Canalside Mills and Milton Church, both of which have won building restoration awards.
  • Insulation Improvements – Over the last 15 years the University has spent c.£3.5m upgrading building and services insulation, a key factor in reducing energy use.
  • Active Energy Measures – These initiatives include the promotion of natural ventilation, heat recovery, daylight lighting control, effective maintenance and commissioning of plant. Together with the installation of sophisticated building management control systems.
  • Building Reclamation Materials – Three major University buildings are built either in part or completely with reclaimed stone from demolished buildings on site.
  • Design Intervention (Carbon Trust) – Major projects are submitted to the Carbon Trust “Design Advice Report” scheme. The report helps primarily to reduce CO2 emissions, achieved by the recommendation and installation of sustainable systems.
  • GreenBuild / BREEAM for Higher Education Project – A project aiming to make BREEAM more relevant for the HE sector, by creating a ‘standard scheme’ to assess the environmental performance of most University buildings. We expect to take part in the new assessment scheme, and hope to also be involved as much as possible in the initial consultation and piloting stages.

Sustainable Buildings

About the sustainable features and greener aspects of our properties:

Student Central

The Student Central building was set a sustainable target of achieving BREEAM Excellent status.  It was a contractual obligation of the main contractor for the project to achieve this. 

In addition the building has no independent heating source and uses spare capacity on the boilers in Schwann Building, the majority of the building is also naturally ventilated. 

Schwann Building

Ahead of its time in terms of reducing environmental impact, the construction of the Schwann Building, formerly the Central Services Building, in 1974 saw then state-of-the-art cooling systems installed using canal water as a cooling medium. Today around 38% of Queensgate campus buildings are still cooled using canal water.

Canalside Mills (Refurbishment)

Sparck Jones (formerly Canalside West), a 6 storey converted mill, was awarded the Ironbridge Trust Award for the ‘Best historical building back into use’ following its refurbishment in 1995. Similarly, the refurbishment of

The Haslett Building (formerly Canalside East) that followed has resulted in several heritage building awards, since its conversion in 1998. The building maintains many original mill features over its 5 floors.

Sir Patrick Stewart Building (Refurbishment)

Remodelling of this former church and Sunday school into music and drama spaces took place during 2006, with the stained glass fully refurbished by Local Craftsmen. It was awarded ‘Best Restoration Project’ by the Yorkshire Development Agency in 2006.

Richard Steinitz Building (formerly Creative Arts Building)

The Creative Arts Building incorporates a range of eco-friendly features like solar panels and wind turbines, and is made of construction materials that will be fully recyclable at the ends of its life. It has recently been awarded a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating, one of the higher marks awarded to sustainable buildings. Follow this link for more details about the Creative Arts Building’s credentials.

Charles Sikes Building

The design brief for the building stipulated it must achieve a minimum of BREEAM ‘Very Good’ accreditation and be put forward for a Green Gown Award. An ecologist was engaged due to the proximity of the build to the canal, a key wildlife area on campus. The University looked to use canal water for cooling systems in the building (as achieved already for other buildings on campus), and to extend the existing district heating system.

Oastler 

The Oastler Building, opened in 2017, was built with environmental sustainability in mind and is one of the University's greenest buildings on campus.  

Barbara Hepworth Building (Opened July 2019) 

The Barbara Hepworth Building, which will be home to the School of Art, Design and Architecture, will be ready in time for the forthcoming Academic Year, 2019/2020.  A progress of the build can be viewed here

Adopting sustainable factors into new buildings and refurbishments across campus ensures that thew University is working towards goals 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Adopting sustainable factors into new buildings and refurbishments across campus ensures that thew University is working towards goals 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of the United Nations. Sustainable Development Goals.
Adopting sustainable factors into new buildings and refurbishments across campus ensures that thew University is working towards goals 11, 12, 13 and 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Adopting sustainable factors into new buildings and refurbishments across campus ensures that thew University is working towards goals 11, 12, 13 and 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.