University Passivhaus up for international science award

Willmott Dixon praised by the scientific community as Centre for Medicine is shortlisted for international award

The £42m building at the University of Leicester will be taking on competition in the Sustainable Science Building category at the upcoming S-Lab Awards 2017. The awards recognise excellence in laboratory design, management and operation, showcasing the very best scientific facilities from 11 countries in five continents. 

Contractor Willmott Dixon, along with Associated Architects, Bidwells, Gleeds, Ramboll and mechanical and electrical consultants Couch Perry Wilkes, worked together with the university to deliver the building, which has been certified as the largest non-residential Passivhaus in the UK – meeting the strictest of environmental standards to create an incredibly eco-friendly building.

James Elliment, operations manager at Willmott Dixon, said: “The Centre for Medicine is a hugely significant project not only for the university but also the UK and the wider scientific community. Being shortlisted for the S-Lab Awards is a fantastic achievement and a testimony to the building’s environmental credentials. Gaining Passivhaus accreditation is really tough and as a project team we all worked together, along with the university, to deliver what really is a fantastic facility. The Centre for Medicine really is a pioneering project within the higher education sector and one that we are incredibly proud of.”

The Centre for Medicine really is a pioneering project within the higher education sector and one that we are incredibly proud of

The building comprises of a number of environmental features including a green wall made up of 75,000 individual plants to CTB blinds that track the sun and automatically close to prevent solar gain as well as a ground to air heat exchange system and solar PV panels. S-Lab director Peter James, said: “The 2017 Conference and Awards show that laboratory design, management and operation are changing in response to new knowledge and technologies, competitive, financial and other pressures, and user expectations. The result is better research and teaching, more cost-effective operation – which can create more resource for actual science – and reduced environmental impact.” 

Willmott Dixon is a leading provider of world-class science and technology facilities and has delivered a number of iconic schemes alongside the Centre for Medicine including the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy for the University of Cambridge, a low vibration building with an acoustic performance 10,000 times stronger than a typical office and the National Space Technology Facility, which includes research areas that will recreate conditions in outer space.

Winners will be announced at the S-Lab Awards on 9 May at York Racecourse. 


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