The University’s estate comprises a huge range of building types, styles and ages. We are proud to use the breathtaking historic Grade 1 listed Greenwich Maritime buildings dating from the 17th Century through to the Victorian Mansion site and its spectacular Winter Garden at Avery Hill, the beautiful and peaceful Edwardian ex Royal Navy site at Medway campus and the shiny, new and super sustainable Stockwell Street and Daniel Defoe developments that opened in September 2014.
Each building provides its own challenges for sustainability. The variety of the estate and some of the protections they have mean the integration of sustainability can be difficult, though not always impossible. All buildings are monitored for their water and energy use and all have had significant investments made to reduce key impacts. All new buildings and refurbishments over £5m are required to meet at least BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard and all new projects have to ensure they can effectively adapt to the future impacts of climate change.
Stockwell Street provides a great example of how the University has made a commitment to sustainability through its £80m investment in a new BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated building. This building was designed to be highly energy and water efficient. It also has 14 landscaped roofs that cover the equivalent of 12 tennis courts, providing a wide range of teaching, learning and growing spaces and areas for biodiversity.
The opportunities for student and staff research projects is significant. The University is keen to make available its data, for example on our energy metering information. We can engage students to identify further ways we can manage and reduce our energy and carbon use. Research on how we use buildings and systems and how we can influence more sustainable behaviours provides useful, interesting and rewarding opportunities for both student and staff. Potential funding for estate based projects that deliver sustainability benefits mean staff and students can consider their environments and develop innovative solutions to existing sustainability challenges. Contact the SDU to find out how you can use the estate as a ‘living lab’ or contact them for the project proposal form.