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Tour of 2000 sq m 5-storey SEC building in Yorkshire (timber frame with monolithic hemp!) followed by BBQ – 26th July 2012

July 26, 2012 @ 1:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Russell Smith, of award winning (Carbon Champion of Year) University of Bradford’s Estates Department, has offered fellow AECB members the chance to learn about the Bradford University Sustainable Enterprise Centre Building, currently under construction.  Tours of the SEC site will be available.

Russell describes this project as “an amazing story – tales of love and disaster and all that” or “SECs in the City (of Bradford)”

Answering your questions and talking about the project will be . . . . .

  • Architect, Dave Morland of Farrell & Clark who are based in Leeds and London  (http://www.farrellandclark.co.uk)
  • Ian Pritchett of Lime Technology Ltd, the Technical Director  and recognised authority on hempcrete.
  • Andrew Hague, the University of Bradford Project Manager for the building (also Building Team leader and the BREEAM and LEED expert)
  • Mick Count GB Building Solutions Building Site manager


By the end the day anyone attending really will understand why it is a tale of love and disaster.

Russell has also extended an invitation to the Green Impact Award BBQ  from 4.00 -7.00 on the same  day.  These will be held on the Amphitheatre and the ceremony  in the adjacent Theatre in the Mill.   Any AECB members attending the SEC event are welcome to this, but places are limited, so please RSVP debbie@aecb.net asap

Please be aware that the SEC is currently a live (commercial) building site and all health safety requirements will be observed, such as the wearing of PPE (supplied by the contractor) and a site induction.
Anybody wishing to undertake the site visit will need to be mobile enough to negotiate a live building site and have a good head for heights!

See  http://www.bradford.ac.uk/estates/capital-projects/live-projects/sec/  and follow Russell on Twitter @Russell_Badger

RSVP as there is limited space.  Contact debbie@aecb.net to book a  place and to request essential parking permits and travel information.

Time & Date: 26th July 2012 – from 1.15 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Venue: School of Health Studies Building  (Room 3.01 Executive Teaching Suite, Horton A Building) University of Bradford, Richmond Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire


The focus of this meeting will be the University’s Sustainable Enterprise Centre (SEC) and include a site visit and a technical presentation on the building by the University’s Estate Manager. It is also an opportunity to speak to other key people that have been involved in the design and construction of what is a world class sustainable commercial build.

The SEC will be the largest (2000 m2, five storey) building built from monolithic hemp with a timber frame construction with Lytag recycled floors delivered using the University’s target driven sustainability specification which is managed by exception by the University. The building is currently rated at EPC A8 with a BREEAM pre-construction score of 94.95% (the world’s highest) it is intended to have the building LEED assessed with a view to gaining a Platinum rating. This will be a near unique opportunity to see the construction at an exciting phase of the process – the laying of hemp is well under way.

The meeting Venue: Is the recently refurbished and extended and naturally ventilated BREEAM very good (1970s) Horton A (School of Health Studies) building http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=382930208422127&set=a.382929735088841.75842.311021138946368&type=1&theater
The Executive teaching suite has stunning views over city campus and the city of Bradford via it’s double height floor to ceiling glazed elevation.

Information about the SEC building (from Bradford University website) . . . .

The Sustainable Enterprise Centre (SEC) has been designed to the University’s target driven sustainability specification, delivering the world’s highest ever pre-construction BREEAM (external link) rating of 94.95% at award. The building seeks to be the focal point in embedding sustainable living and learning within all University activities in unison with the Ecoversity vision. The building will showcase sustainable development and construction at its best and expand the University’s relationship with the wider community.

The SEC will be used for research and knowledge transfer activities and as an Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) ‘learner’ centre.  It will provide facilities for ESD events (which work mainly with primary school children) and learning opportunities through the building’s function and the sustainable construction that are integral to the design.

This project has been funded by ERDF (external link), HEFCE (external link) and the University. The project has attracted £2.322 million capital grant investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

The Building Design

The design has been driven by the University’s Estates team and its ambitious Sustainable Construction Specification.The SEC will be built on the space that currently occupies the car park between Richmond building and Ashfield. The building itself has been designed to minimise the need for mechanical interventions to heat and cool the building, therefore reducing the amount of energy needed to run it. The building is laid out over 4 floors and is built into a slope to incorporate a lower ground floor. The building is of a gentle curved form, running from Richmond Road to the Ashfield building. The entrance to the ground floor is on the south east side facing Horton D building.

There is a naturally lit atrium at the centre of the building providing access to circulation space. There is natural ventilation in the summer months to prevent the building becoming too hot and stuffy. In the winter months this is turned off, and the building is heated by ground source heat pumps.

Sustainable Building Materials and Features

Instead of using the traditional building material concrete in the construction, the design team have opted to use Hemcrete. Unlike concrete, Hemcrete is a truly renewable material. It is made from hemp grown sustainably in the UK and is mixed with a lime-based binder. This produces a building material which is highly thermal efficient. This is used in conjunction with a timber frame, which is also a naturally renewable material.

There is solar shading on the glazed south facing side of the building in the form of brise soleil. This minimises glare and overheating in the summer, but still enables solar heat gain in the winter.

Rainwater harvesting will be installed to cut down on water usage which will be utilised for flushing toilets.

Other sustainable features of the SEC are the use of ground source heat pumps, solar thermal and solar PV panels and rainwater harvesting. Together, these three solutions will result in a 20% reduction in the building carbon emissions as well as dramatically reducing the reliance on mains energy and water.

Certifications and Accolades

The SEC building has already been awarded a BREAAM Outstanding score of 94.95%, pre-assessment – the highest accredited award for sustainable building development and operation. BREEAM is the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method for buildings, which sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and is used to describe a building’s environmental performance. In conjunction with the BREEAM score, the building is aiming for a platinum LEED accreditation – an internationally recognised green building certification system, which is used extensively throughout the US and Europe. It also has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of an A-grade, with ‘A’ being the most efficient and ‘G’ being the least.

The University of Bradford (new members of the AECB) received national recognition for its sustainable building programme in February this year, winning the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) ‘Carbon Champion of Year’ .


July 26, 2012
1:15 pm - 4:00 pm
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