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5th Studio scoops planning for eco-refurb at Trinity College Cambridge

The Secretary of State has approved plans by 5th Studio for the refurb of the Grade I-listed William Wilkins’ New Court at Trinity College Cambridge

Built in the 1820s, the hall of residence houses 200 undergraduates during term time. However becasue it is poorly insulated it is ‘wasteful of energy’ and expensive to heat.

Each room in the building will be internally re-lined, incorporating insulation and electrical services. The existing windows will also be double glazed.

The proposals have been developed after monitoring the existing building’s physics to find an ‘appropriate balance between building conservation and energy efficiency.’

Low carbon and renewable technologies will also be introduced to the building. These include mechanical ventilation heat recovery using the existing chimney flues for ducting, a ground source heat pump and a roof mounted PV array.

These changes could result in carbon emissions savings of more than 85 per cent and energy reductions of 75 per cent.

The client , junior bursar, Rod Pullen, said ‘New Court has been used for student accommodation since its construction, and is a working building in a central part of the College. It is in need of major refurbishment and we were attracted by 5th Studio’s approach of using modern technology and techniques to improve sustainability whilst retaining its historic character.

‘The process of detailed monitoring and modelling, together with an iterative process of design development, provides a demonstration of how such challenges can be tackled in long term refurbishment of listed buildings’.

The scheme was referred to the Secretary of State for approval through the National Planning Casework Unit. In making their decision, councillors commented that such listed buildings must evolve if they are to remain in viable use and not become museums.

5th Studio previously won the AJ 3R Awards back in 2011, for their Wolfson flats retrofit scheme in Cambridge.

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