The Centre for Medicine

The University of Leicester

Project Value:

£42m

Client:

Completion:

2016

Key Points

  • Largest Passivhaus building in UK
  • 12,000sq.m
  • Accommodates more than 2,350 staff and students
  • Largest green wall in the UK outside of London (true in 2015)
  • EPC A
  • BREEAM Excellent
  • Reduces annual energy bills by 80%
  • £42m cost was the largest investment in medical teaching and applied research by a UK university in the last decade

Developing Identity

The Centre for Medicine is the physical expression of the University of Leicester’s excellent reputation for medical research and teaching. A firm aspiration of the brief was to deliver an up-to-date facility, that would create a sense of home and shared identity for College of Medicine’s 2,350 staff and students.

The College’s former site, the 1970’s Maurice Shock Building was no longer fit for purpose. A target of an 80% reduction in annual energy bills was also set. Our resulting design aimed to deliver the much-needed teaching rooms, academic offices, dry lab research facilities, within a building of exemplar environmental performance.

Considering Environment

A mixture of renewable technologies, sustainable design techniques and sensitive massing have helped to deliver a building that places its surrounding environment at its heart.

The Centre for Medicine is currently the largest building in the UK to achieve the ultra-energy efficiency standard of Passivhaus. Along with EPC  A and BREEAM Excellent ratings, the design delivers a robust sustainability agenda. Other green measures include a 150m2 photovoltaic array, heat recovery ventilation and one of the country’s largest green walls, to stimulate pollination and increase bio-diversity.

The building is comprised of two parts, joined by a glass roofed atria with three towers of academic accommodation. The stepping of the building’s tower heights from five through to three floors have ensured the impact on the adjacent locally listed Regents College is minimised. The narrow floor plates of the towers provide high levels of natural daylight penetration.

Nationally Significant

The Centre for Medicine is a bold milestone for the university sector. Not only has the design created a central hub for the academics, students and professionals of the College, it has also produced a building of national importance. Engagement is encouraged through social areas, breakout-furniture and a cafe, these shared spaces allow its inhabitants to collaborate and develop their identity.

We’re immensely proud of the building’s credentials and actively promote them through national conferences and publications. We want the Centre for Medicine to be the benchmark for delivering low energy architecture on a large scale.