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Associated Architects' Passivhaus medical building starts on site

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[FIRST LOOK + PLANS + PROJECT DATA] Work has started on Associated Architects’ £32 million medical teaching and research building for Leicester University

The 13,000m2 facility will provide a home for the university’s college of medicine, biological sciences and psychology departments with new teaching rooms, offices and laboratories.

Arranged in two parts; a two storey podium housing teaching  facilities and three wings of research and office accommodation, the building will step down in height reducing its impact on the surrounding buildings.

The architect’s view

‘The podium base is organised around two atria which are top lit between the upper office towers. These spaces provide social learning areas with IT facilities, a café and break-out furniture, encouraging interaction between the various student and research subject groupings. The existing, out-of-date facilities do not offer a sense of place or home for the College to develop an identity. Resolving this for the College is a firm aspiration of the University’s brief and one that the physical arrangement of the building aims to address.

‘The building design is derived from a strong sustainability agenda and seeks to provide an EPC A rated scheme, with Passivhaus levels of air-tightness and thermal performance, high levels of natural light, high thermal mass and mixed-mode ventilation which will use a fraction of the energy of conventional air-conditioning. Renewable technologies include PV panels and CHP and there will also be a planted wall and green roof on the side nearest Regent College to increase the ecological contribution. This ambitious programme will make the project one of the most energy efficient buildings of its kind in the UK.’

Associated Architects Leicester Passivhaus

Project data

Location Leicester
Type of project Medical teaching and research building
Client University of Leicester
Architect Associated Architects
Landscape consultant Gillespies
Planning consultant BDP
Structural engineer Ramboll
Fire engineers Ramboll
M&E consultant Couch Perry Wilkes
Quantity surveyor Gleeds
Planning supervisor Ridge
Project manager Bidwells
Main contractor Willmott Dixon
Tender date April 2013
Start on site date November 2013
Completion date 2015
Contract duration 87 weeks
Gross internal floor area 12,844m²
Form of contract and/or procurement design and build
Total cost £32 million
Predicted air tightness levels 1m³/h/m²@ 50Pa
Predicted primary energy demand 120 kWh/(m²a)
Specific environmental targets Passivhaus, BREEAM Excellent, DEC A


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