Sustainable construction and refurbishment


The University introduced the Sustainability Design Guide framework in 2021 in response to The Environment and Climate Emergency (E&CE) Policy Statement that declared ‘all campus activities and operations shall have a carbon net zero impact and/or result in net environmental gain by 2030 and aims to be carbon net zero by 2050’.  The carbon net zero target has since been accelerated to 2030.

The Sustainability Design Guide will inform decisions on sustainable design and construction and defines a clear pathway for all parties whether a minor works project or a large new build scheme.

To achieve zero-carbon targets, the University will adopt Whole Life Carbon (WLC) Assessments for all capital projects. The Passivhaus standard will be achieved on all new builds as a minimum and EuroPHit guidelines will be used to apply EnerPHit standards on all refurbishments and fit outs. All capital projects must aim for these standards.

As well as achieving reductions in energy consumption and the resulting carbon emissions through the implementation of the Passivhaus and Enerphit standards, whole life costing (WLC) assessments must be executed to reduce the embedded carbon associated with scope 3 to help the University achieve net zero carbon by 2030.

These WLC Assessments enable understanding of the lifetime consequences of design decisions. This promotes durability, resource efficiency, reuse, and future adaptability, all of which contribute to life-time carbon reductions.

The Sustainability Design Guide can be found on our webpages and contains links to external documents used to inform specific targets and requirements.

For information on current projects, please visit the Estate Services Projects page.