The University of Warwick’s new £54.3m Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) is now complete, bringing to life the University’s commitment to delivering world-leading research in neuroscience, microbiology and infection, cell biology, and disease models, supporting and facilitating interdisciplinary biomedical research of the highest quality.
The new building will also create a dynamic teaching and learning environment for life sciences students and those studying medicine at Warwick.
The IBRB is Warwick’s most environmentally sustainable building on campus to date, surpassing the award-winning credentials of the Sports and Wellness Hub and demonstrating the University’s continued commitment to addressing the climate emergency. The building has been completed to a “world-class”, industry-leading standard with 50% of the development comprising offsite manufactured components, such as a pre-cast frame, mega-riser, timber frame and cladding; this approach simplifies the project’s logistics and improves its sustainability credentials by reducing the carbon footprint.
The project also includes the installation of over 390 vertical PV solar panels; this offsets approximately 4,600kg CO2 emissions. Once in operation, Willmott Dixon’s Energy SynergyTM process will also be applied to the building to bridge the performance gap and drive down energy costs. Throughout the project, the contractor has also studied the project’s embodied carbon lifecycle which is supporting the University’s plans to achieve net-zero carbon from direct emissions by 2030.
The University of Warwick’s Sports and Wellness Hub is another example of a building that has reduced energy use through extensive monitoring after it has become operational.
Opening its doors in 2019, this 40,000m2, state-of-the-art facility boasts 15,500m2 of indoor space, including: a multi-functional sports hall; the biggest gym in the higher education sector; a 25m-long, 12-lane swimming pool; 17m-high indoor climbing walls; fitness suites; and squash courts. User comfort and reconfiguration of the space were at the heart of the project and it has benefited from smart climate controls and user customisation technologies. These include coolant technology to provide the right temperature for any given sport, automatically adjusted lighting in key rooms to create the optimal ambience and an adjustable swimming pool boom at the touch of a button.
Achieving ambitious sustainability targets through Energy Synergy™ Exceptional energy efficiency was a critical aspect of the Sports Hub. Nick Preedy, Operations Manager for Willmott Dixon, said: “To achieve the University’s ambitious goals for the facility, extensive in-house monitoring was required once the building was opened to identify further energy savings. “We embedded our Energy Synergy™ process into the after-build service. This involved monitoring operational use across 12 categories from heating, ventilation and pumps, through to domestic hot water.
Within the first year, Energy Synergy™ was delivering energy savings of £40,236 and a carbon saving of 98,520kgCO2e.” Energy Synergy™ has enabled the Sports Hub to become the most energy efficient leisure centre in the UK, performing 27.5 percent better than CIBSE’s Energy Benchmark.