Integrated design at the LSE and the zero carbon university

Board Director Ian Duncombe spoke about the use of integrated design at the London School of Economics when he presented at the The Education Estates Conference in Manchester, October 2019. Here is some of what he said.

"By embracing sustainability as one of the cornerstones of its estate strategy, the London School of Economics has realised its vision of creating a ‘world class estate and a university quarter’.

As a city centre campus, the university has always recognised the role of quality architecture in attracting students in a highly competitive market and it understands that students demand exemplar buildings that promote the health of people and the planet.

At chapmanbdsp, we have provided the LSE with MEP and environmental consultancy on its last three major projects, a relationship spanning more than a decade. On each of these three buildings – the Saw Swee Hock, Centre Building and 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields - the LSE has understood the value of and invested in a fully integrated design approach.

This involves the whole project team taking environmental engineering to the heart of the design process from the outset, with the aim of ensuring the building performs as well as possible in terms of energy and comfort.

At the beginning of each project, much time was spent in briefing sessions to really understand the requirements and what was expected from the building, as well as determining all parameters that would affect environmental performance.

Having understood the brief, the integrated design approach informs and influences the form and fabric first, before looking at energy efficiency, environmental control and energy systems. A key part of our thinking comes from the analysis of form and the performance of the façades to achieve a good balance between daylight, shade and ventilation.

The most recent addition to LSE’s campus, the Centre Building, is pre-dominantly naturally ventilated and a fantastic example of what can be achieved by following an integrated design approach. It has also achieved BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and a 30 per cent reduction in embodied carbon.

The UK’s move to true zero carbon by 2050, now enshrined in legislation, has gone largely below the radar due to recent focus on other political issues and many professionals remain unaware of the full implications for building design.

It will dramatically affect energy strategies on future projects similar to Centre Building."

Integrated design at the LSE and the zero carbon university