Kingston School of Art wins BREEAM award 23.03.21

Our retrofit of Kingston School of Art for Kingston University has won the 2021 BREEAM award for the best Public Sector Project post-construction. The judges commented that they were "impressed with the take on overall wellbeing, as well as embracing the challenge of refurbishing an existing building. The efforts made on solar shading, biodiversity and accessibility were also highly rated".

One of the drivers of the project has been to demonstrate how a carefully considered retrofit can transform the environmental performance, functionality and design quality of existing university buildings, so it is encouraging to see a refurbishment project achieve this award. Universities are faced with the twin challenges of meeting their zero carbon goals while addressing new ways of working and teaching in the post-pandemic era. This retrofit shows how these challenges can be addressed while also delivering high-quality design and without the need to fully decant staff and students off site to undertake major demolition and rebuilding. Our upgrades for Kingston School of Art prioritised passive design measures, increasing north-light to studios through re-organising the internal layout, introducing solar shading to the South, upgrading the thermal performance/airtightness of the envelope and replacing inefficient building services and plant. Together this package of measures contributed to achieving BREEAM Outstanding while also delivering on-going energy cost savings and significant reductions in CO2 produced by the university.

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Kingston School of Art, our project for Kingston University, has won the Higher and Further Education category at the AJ Retrofit Awards. These celebrate the design expertise behind the vital renewal and repurposing of existing building. The judging panel commented on the "lovely juxtaposition between existing and new" and how by retrofitting instead of rebuilding there is "the preservation of atmosphere". Overall "this scheme embodies what these awards are celebrating – it stood out from the beginning".

Our stacked, light industrial project for BeFirst in Barking and Dagenham has received planning permission. Peter Murray, NLA Chairman commented that “this innovative mixed use space… sets new standards for efficient use of industrial land in London”. The development, which will house tenants in flexible units arranged around a vehicle accessible multi-storey hub, will begin on site this summer.

Kingston School of Art, our project for Kingston University, has been shortlisted in the Higher Education category at the AJ Retrofit awards. These recognise well-designed sustainable project,s and promote structural reuse in the built environment. The winner will be announced at an online ceremony on 24 February.