Celebrating sustainability in Public Sector construction 

Over the last two weeks the eyes of the world have been on Glasgow and the COP26, as global leaders and their negotiators have been thrashing out an agreement on climate change. 

 During the conference, at SCF, we have been looking back at some of the achievements of our contractor colleagues in this area, celebrating some fantastic examples of how construction in the public sector is setting the bar for sustainability. 

 From projects which support the journey to net zero carbon, to protecting and restoring ecosystems, as well as collaboration on reducing the impact on climate change, construction in the public sector has a great story to tell.  

COP26 Highlights

Mining Bees, North Herts College

The team at Galliford Try took action to protect a large swarm of Mining Bees at North Herts College Sports Facilities, an SCF Project.

Keith Williams, Operations Manager at Galliford Try explained:

“An earth bank of 20m long was covered with an estimated 3000 Mining Bees who build nests in underground tunnels. Similar to a housing development, each nest is unique to the owner even though, from the outside, they all look the same. The bees are an important pollinator and should be considered a welcome guest- as they were on our site.”

“On discovering the bees, we informed the North Herts Bee Keeping Association who advised us to cordon off the area and keep any disturbance nearby to a minimum. The bees were harmless and went about their business of feeding their young and pollinating as we also went about our normal business too. Most have now dispersed but a few hundred remain which will buzz off now the colder weather is coming.”

London Screen Academy

Sustainability was an integral part of the refurbishment at London Screen Academy and provided the team at Willmott Dixon with the perfect opportunity to embed sustainable technologies.

Some of these technologies included:

↪️ A heating system that makes use of passive heat recovery, using
outdoor air to cool the building where possible

💡 100% LED lighting throughout the building, with additional daylight dimming functionality and presence detection

📉 Installation of extensive electricity, water and gas metering which is monitored by the Building Management System (BMS) so that data can be analysed to further optimise energy usage

🍃 The building’s roof has a green area to enhance biodiversity

🔄 Solar PV panels were installed to generate renewable electricity and export back to the national grid, achieving cost savings, improving occupancy wellbeing and retaining the building’s existing character

The building now hosts a world class film school within an old radio factory renewing its media heritage in a building to last for generations. 

Stoneham Park

Stoneham Park Primary Academy is a brand new 315-place primary academy delivered by Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure.

As a result of using the latest sustainable technologies, the building uses 50% less carbon than a standard steel framed construction.

For more information on this project, take a look at the full case study: 🔗https://lnkd.in/dWszuDmU

Exeter Science Park

Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure worked with Grainge Architects Ltd, to create a sustainable design for a three-storey ‘Grow Out Building’ at Exeter Science Park which achieved BREEAM Excellent certification.

Solar panels were installed on the building to offset energy consumption and additional bike facilities were created to encourage cycling to work.

Extreme Photonics Applications Centre, Harwell Campus

Last year, Mace, were appointed to deliver the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre on the Harwell campus in Oxfordshire.

One of the standouts of this project so far has been how they managed to achieve a 48% carbon reduction using 75% GGBS in Structural Concrete.

St Sidwell’s Point, Exeter

St Sidwell’s Point in Exeter will be the first UK leisure facility built to the Passivhaus standard and once completed, the building’s design is set to save up to 70% on annual energy costs. Contracted by Kier Construction, this landmark building has been modelled to withstand predicted changes in climate conditions up to 2080. 

St Sidw

Ada Lovelace Building

SCF worked closely with Midas Group Ltd and Exeter Science Park Limited to create the three-storey ‘Net Zero Carbon Operational Energy’ Ada Lovelace building.

The building surpassed U-value and EPC targets, and includes a PV array and natural ventilation heat recovery units. The project also features cycle storage to encourage a more sustainable method of travelling to work, bee bricks, bird boxes and wildflower landscaping to support the local wildlife. All of the above contributing to the buildings recent success at the Insider South West Property Awards, winning the ‘#Sustainability‘ category. 

The Ada Lovelace provides work spaces for small and medium sized enterprises in the STEMM sector and is truly a building that will provide a lasting legacy, both within the STEMM field as well as environmentally.

Sustainable Buildings Monitor

In terms of research and Insight, the team at ISG published its Sustainable Buildings Monitor report. The paper provides data on the international variations in the carbon emissions and energy consumption due to the operation of commercial buildings. By understanding the data, we can better support those that have the most work to do in cutting the emissions produced by the buildings that occupy them – delivering solutions to champion energy efficiency, create smart spaces, and retrofit existing ones too – and take radical steps on the journey to securing a net zero legacy for our cities, towns and communities.