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Michael Hopkins and Partners, Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham

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The brief from the university was to design a world-class sustainable campus utilising renewable energy sources. The aluminium wind cowls, which are positioned at the top of each of the staircases, are a central component of the super-efficient air handling system within the buildings.

The cowls were fabricated from sheet aluminium taking full advantage of the inherent lightness of the material, its ease of fabrication and its low maintenance and recyclability. Aluminium permitted the aerofoil profile to be formed so that the cowl rotates and responds to changes in wind direction at wind speeds of as little as 2m/s, assisting the natural ventilation of the building and preventing air-flow reversal.

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