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December 2014

Issue 34

35

SITE REGISTRATION

They let the person using the

building know how costly it is likely

to be to heat and power, and what

carbon dioxide emissions there will

be.

Willmott Dixon’s project is being

constructed to meet Passivhaus

standards which allow for a high

level of occupant comfort while

using very little energy for heating

and cooling. They are built with

meticulous attention to detail and

rigorous design and construction,

according to principles developed

by the Passivhaus Institute in

Germany.

A super-insulated shell that

requires little or no additional

heating other than that supplied by

its inhabitants will form the exterior

of the Centre for Medicine.

Willmott Dixon’s on-site staff have

been awarded separate Silver and

Bronze National Site Awards on

their previous projects - and the

contractor is keen to continue to

achieve and improve standards on

the Centre for Medicine Project.

AWillmott Dixon spokesman

explained:

Renewable technologies have also

been incorporated into the project

including PV (Photovoltaics) solar

panels and CHP (Combined Heating

and Power), increasing ecological

contribution to the building. And

to further the project’s ecological

elements, a planted green wall and

roof have been integrated into the

design of the centre, creating an

innovative hub of sustainability.

The building’s façade will be

created from triple glazed glass

and will incorporate external blinds

that track the movement of the sun

- allowing the building to reduce

solar gain.

The project has a 6m deep

basement which has generated

approximately 6000 cubed metres

of clay that needed to be taken off-

site via surrounding roads.

The foundations of the building

are supported by CFA (Continuous

Flight Augering) piles – a

construction technique used to

create a deep concrete foundation.

These have been designed to allow

2km of ground to heat exchange

pipework at depths of up to 6m.

The low energy usage requirements

of the building, slabs, basement

walls and even the pile caps are

super-insulated ensuring that the

building is as energy-efficient as

possible. All potential cold bridges

in the building have been thermally

modelled and where feasible have

been designed out; where this was

not possible, thermally efficient

solutions have been used such as

carbon fibre brick ties.

Willmott Dixon has worked closely

with University of Leicester to

offer local students with the

opportunity to visit the site; these

regular visits have not only allowed

students to see the building’s

progression, but also enabled them

to gain necessary experience and

placements for their courses.

The contractors have worked

throughout the project to ensure

the site provides access for disabled

visitors, which has been achieved

through creating adapted footpaths

to the ground offices of the site.

The site is adjacent to both Regent

College and themain University

of Leicester campus, meaning that

it is passed by several thousand

members of the public each day. Due

to the site’s central location,Willmott

Dixon has worked to protect the

public whilst also ensuring that the

construction works have little impact

on day-to-day activity in the area.

Willmott Dixon has hosted

coordinationmeetings with site

contractors regarding both works

and facilities in the area, encouraging

open discussions to eliminate

confusion and conflict in the area.

The building, designed

by Associated Architects,

will comprise of three

towers linked by a glass

roofed atrium, providing

additional social and

break out spaces.

The works on the

campus also include

an upgrade of existing

road junctions which will

make the road safer for

both pedestrians and

cyclists in the area.

To achieve the

Passivhaus standards,

the project takes into

account levels of air-

tightness and thermal

performance, high

levels of natural light,

high thermal mass and

mixed-mode ventilation,

enabling the building

to use a fraction of the

energy that conventional

air-conditioning uses.