LSE achieves BREEAM Outstanding rating for new Students’ Centre

The London School of Economics and Political Science’s (LSE) £24 million New Students’ Centre has become the first in higher education in London to achieve a BREEAM design rating of Outstanding.

It is only the 17th building worldwide and the second establishment in higher education to achieve such a high standard of sustainability.

Test body BRE Global assessed the interim stage of the development and rated the Students’ Centre with a score of 86.45%, giving it the rating of Outstanding and exceeding the LSE’s original specification to achieve BREEAM Excellent.

The New Students’ Centre is being constructed on the site of the old St Philips building on Sheffield Street next to the Peacock Theatre in London WC2, with work being led by family-owned building contractor, civil engineering and property services firm Osborne. It will comprise 65,671 sq ft (6,101 sq m) over six storeys and two basement levels and has been designed by architects O’Donnell Tuomey.

The centre will house the Students’ Union – including a venue, pub, learning cafe, exercise studio, roof terrace coffee/juice bar, fitness centre, media centre, activities space, advice and representation centres, an Inter Faith Prayer centre and the LSE Careers’ Service for the university’s 9,000 students.

To achieve BREEAM Outstanding, the team collaborated very closely under the positive direction of the LSE, with the design team taking a particularly proactive role. Some of the sustainability measures incorporated into the design are a combined heat and power unit (CHP) will be installed to generate both heat and electricity, photovoltaic cells will be installed to the roof area and a rainwater/greywater harvesting system will be installed to reduce water consumption. The building will also be naturally ventilated reducing the overall energy demand.

During the construction phase, focus is on managing energy, water and waste streams and minimising consumption.

Julian Robinson, director of estates at LSE, said: “We are delighted that the New Students’ Centre has been recognised as BREEAM Outstanding, which is the result of a lot of hard work from everyone involved in the project. Sustainability has been a key factor for the School from the very start of this project so it is pleasing to have achieved our aim of creating not only a suitable home for our Students’ Union, but one of the ‘greenest’ buildings on campus.”

John Craig, Head of Osborne’s Education team, said: “This is a landmark design with green credentials that will become London’s most sustainable higher education building. Delivering a BREEAM Outstanding design exceeds the brief and this rating has only been achieved by the team collaborating closely together under LSE’s direction.”

Construction of the new building is due for completion in late 2013.

Project team:

Client: The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Main contractor: Osborne

Architect: O’Donnell Tuomey

Project Manager: Turner &Townsend

Quantity Surveyor: Northcroft

MEP consultants: BDSP Partnership

Structural Engineers: Dewhurst McFarlane and Partners

Sustainability Advisor: Aecom

Environmental Consultant: BDSP Partnership

BREEAM Assessor: BSRIA Ltd