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Sustainable Construction Policy (agreed January 2013)
In order to support the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy (to 2015) and draft
Carbon Management Strategy (2012) the following sustainable construction principles are
proposed. Application of these principles will be subject to resource availability.
Our principles:
With reference to the Space Allocation Principles (2012) appropriate use of existing spaces
should always precede acquisition or building of further space
Flexibility should be designed into new spaces to allow changing future space needs to be met
A Low or Zero Carbon (LZC) approach to building design and retrofit will be adopted
Construction waste should be designed out or minimised and reused or recycled thereafter
Environmental and social impacts from construction projects need to be considered and
Flagship building projects will be used as exemplars of sustainability and will drive the
production of a standard specification for new build projects
Our standards:
All new-build construction and renovation projects over £1 million will strive to achieve EPCi
ratings of ‘A’, BREEAMii ‘excellent’ at design stage and incorporate Passiv Hausiii design
wherever possible
Once high EPC ratings are achieved at design stage, DECiv ratings of ‘D’ or above will be sought
once new buildings are opened
Only commercial properties with EPCs of ‘D’ or above should be considered for purchase or
Cooling will only be provided for scientific or research purposesv and to minimise associated
carbon emissions, comfort cooling will not be provided as standard
Standard specification for new build projects will be adopted by the Development and
Maintenance teams to design out waste from projects and ensure low carbon solutions are
incorporated into all new-build and refurbishment projects
Wood from certifiable sustainable sources (e.g. FSCvi, PEFCvii) must be used for all internal or
outsourced development or maintenance projects
Whole-life costs need to be produced at cost appraisal stage on all new build projects and a
whole-life management approach adopted
We will incorporate use of standardised equipment from approved suppliers that share our
A target of 20% of energy produced from low or zero carbon technologies will be sought for
capital projects and major refurbishments OR equivalent fabric improvements made to the
design to reduce demand by the same 20%
Development projects will be guided by the University’s Biodiversity Policy in terms of
“mitigating for disturbance to habitats or species”viii and creation of new habitats
All new-build and renovation projects should incorporate water-conservation features
We will work collaboratively:
The Property & Facilities teams will continue to work collaboratively to develop sustainable and
practical construction solutions for the University
Costs and whole-life savings from producing low carbon or sustainable buildings will be made
clear to key stakeholders, decision-makers and budget-holders
Guidance on the use of buildings (e.g. building manuals, behaviour change projects) will be
produced to ensure continued carbon savings once buildings are in use
Education and CPD opportunities will be constantly sought to maintain the Estates teams’
knowledge of sustainable construction issues
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are required to be produced when building, leasing or selling non-domestic
properties in the UK.
The Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a recognised environmental
assessment method and rating system for buildings. BREEAM can be used on building designs and once they are in
Passiv Haus (Passivhaus in German) refers to the rigorous, voluntary, Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency in a
building, reducing its ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space
heating or cooling
Display Energy Certificates (DECs) show the actual energy usage of a building, the ‘operational rating’, and help the
public see the energy efficiency of a building. This is based on the energy consumption of the building as recorded by
gas, electricity and other meters. The DEC should be clearly displayed at all times and clearly visible to the public.
Display Energy Certificates are required for buildings with a total useful floor area over 500m 2 that are occupied by a
public authority and institution providing a public service to a large number of persons and therefore visited by those
persons. DECs are valid for one year.
See the University’s Building Heating & Cooling Policy
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) operate a certification scheme for sustainably-produced wood.
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is the world’s largest forest certification
The University’s Biodiversity Policy can be seen at