Entry Title: "
The Cockcroft Building 7th & 8th Floors"
Category: Professional, Public
Designer(s): "Fraser Brown Mackenna Architects", "Wilmott Dixon", "Curtins", "Mott MacDonald", "Burnley Wilson Fish"
The ten-storey building, built in 1962, provides 15,000m2 of mixed-use
academic space for the University of Brighton. Its complex
infrastructure had reached the end of its design life with accessibility,
building services and fire egress all requiring urgent improvement. The
buildings thermal performance was extremely poor resulting in high
energy consumption and running costs.
Considerations to demolish the building where soon dismissed in
favour of a sustainable, retrofit and refurbishment approach that would
exploit the unusually large span, column-free floor plate of the
concrete structure. We improved the thermal performance by super-
insulating the envelope with high-performance windows and lining it
with insulated plasterboard. Internally, we celebrated the concrete
frame by stripping back the existing finishes, exposing the structural
beams and slabs. This provides exposed thermal mass to smooth out
temperature swings and creates an industrial aesthetic to suit the
engineering faculties within. An innovative heating and cooling solution
is provided by an Aquifier Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) system
this works like a huge ground source heat pump which stores surplus
heat and coolth for future use. A solar corridor has been introduced to
reduce overheating and act as a thermal buffer zone.
Exposed, second-hand, galvanised steel flooring was chosen for its
robust, durable and economic qualities as well as its industrial
aesthetic. The raised access floor allows easy access to the services
below, creating flexible, future-proof spaces which can easily adapt to
the buildings changing educational demands.
132 photovoltaic panels have been introduced at roof level generating
44 521 kWh in their first year of operation. Applying our sustainable
reuse, refurb, retrofit strategy will result in a dramatic reduction in
energy use (from 303,000 kWh to 166,000 kWh) and carbon dioxide
emissions (from 49.0 Kg CO2/m2 down 45% to 27.2 kgCO2/m2) each
year, reducing energy costs by 66%.