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University wins CIBSE building performance award

At this year’s CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) Building Performance Awards, the University of Bradford has been named Building Performance Champion, for the second time, for its pioneering Ecoversity programme.

The university’s department of estates and facilities won a tightly contested award thanks to transformational work on its aging estates infrastructure over the last decade. It has reduced its carbon footprint by 35% and has become the only university in the world to maintain three ‘BREEAM Outstanding’ rated buildings in its portfolio.

Other winners on the night included AECOM in Building Performance Consultancy of the Year (over 1000 employees), Elementa Consulting in Project of the Year – International and HLM in Project of the Year – Residential. The new Test of Time category was claimed by previous Champions British Land, which demonstrated continued high performance since its previous win in 2012.

A consistent finalist at the Building Performance Awards, AECOM’s award is attributed to its outstanding commitment to improving industry best practice through guidance and training. Judges praised HLM’s winning entry, a house in central Scotland, for a commitment to innovation and sustainability that also featured stunning design, while Elementa Consulting was awarded for its commitment to sustainability through its ‘deep green engineering’ philosophy. 

The University of Bradford also won the Facilities Management Team Award. Its entry was commended for its approach to tackling inherent problems within its large stock of legacy buildings dating from the 1960s and 1970s, including poor thermal performance, asbestos and large expanses of single glazing. By overcoming practical and organisational challenges, the university cut utility costs by 27% in a market that has risen by 90%, and saved £8m over ten years.

In addition, the judges were impressed with the university’s long-term strategy, which involves engaging stakeholders from all areas of the campus and implementing an extremely robust Building Energy Management System, which delivers high quality in-use performance data. Other features of the strategy include LED lighting and controls installation; replacing transformers and pumps; engineering and control improvements to the district heating network; expanding the BEMS and reviewing and optimising compressed air.

The Test of Time award is also a newcomer, introduced in the Awards’ tenth year to reflect their legacy and to reward continued high performance in a previous winner. By demonstrating that it has managed to maintain its impressive performance that won a Building Performance Award in the past, British Land is proving its commitment to excellence in the built environment and setting the bar for quality in the industry as a whole.

CIBSE president John Field said: “We have seen the industry come a long way on building performance in the last ten years and this year’s Awards are a testament to how much has been achieved in a relatively short period of time, and the excellent work that is currently being done.

“This year’s Champions, the University of Bradford, embody what it means to truly strive for building performance, achieving success in the face of adversity through sheer will and commitment to deliver the best. All the winners and finalists this year are examples to look up to, and demonstrate what can be achieved with any size and budget if the right thinking is in place.”


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