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William Gates Building
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, England
RMJM

A modern campus building features sustainable elements designed with a budget


© Peter Cook

For more photos click on 'photos & drawings' above.

To see the people and products behind this project click on 'people & products.'

Representing good value within a relatively tight budget, this building is one of the most energy-efficient higher education buildings in Europe. The 108,000 square-foot building provides accommodation for the university's fast-growing technology department. Throughout its three stories, the building houses research, teaching, library, and catering facilities for 300 students. Research accommodation is arranged around two courtyards, with the teaching areas separated from the research space by an internal "street" connecting galleries and bridges.

Designed for adaptability, the building can accommodate long-term changes of use. To achieve this the floor plates are 39 feet wide with clear spans. Flat soffits and tall ceilings allow local services to be run at high level if needed, and floor voids allow 200 percent expansion of data cabling. In an effort to collaborate with the client, the design team posted CAD drawings with presentations and briefing dialogue on a secure website.

Sustainable considerations include simple passive construction where possible and a careful response to how the building fabric will perform. The external walls, roof, and ground floor are insulated in excess of building regulations. The design team omitted heating the research offices and instead utilized the heat emitted from occupants, computer equipment, and lighting to warm the building. The structure is expected to consume half the energy of many contemporary buildings, while still providing excellent comfort conditions.

Formal name of Project:
William Gates Building
University of Cambridge

Location:
Cambridge, England

Gross square footage:
108,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost:
$25.1 million

Owner:
University of Cambridge

Architect:
RMJM
83 Paul Street
London EC2A 4UT UK
T: (44) 20 7549 8900
F: (44) 20 7250 3131
E: london@rmjm.com
www.rmjm.com

 

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