UK’s first True Zero Carbon student campus set to open later this year

University of Hertfordshire secured a BREEAM Outstanding rating for a new £120m campus building.

One of largest and most eco-friendly student accommodation projects in the UK looks set to be the first True Zero Carbon accredited student accommodation site in the county after securing a BREEAM Outstanding rating.

The £120 million project at the University of Hertfordshire includes 3,000 bed spaces and which is due to be completed later this year.

The project is BREEAM Outstanding and is working towards achieving True Zero Carbon accreditation, the first of its kind in the UK, thanks to a new biomass fuelled energy centre.

The Energy Centre will provide what is known as a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) solution, generating both heating and electricity from the same source. The CHP system at the heart of the development will provide energy for a significant portion of the campus and has been designed to meet BREEAM Outstanding requirements under the 2011 regulations.

Andrew May, the University’s Director of estates & hospitality, said: “We’re very proud of our fantastic new facility and our BREEAM Outstanding achievement and are looking forward to being accredited as a True Zero carbon project.

“Our estates strategy is a key part of the University corporate strategy and is in response to the macro changes in higher education, delivering real benefits to our students and staff and materially enhancing our campus experience. This is why we are investing in both our academic estate and our residential estate.”

Construction consultancy firm Turner & Townsend initially developed the feasibility study with the University and acted as the Independent Certifier during construction.

Gareth Morgan, Director for Turner & Townsend, said: “This has been a long but exciting journey from the initial aspirations of the University’s “Vision” in 2010 to being on the cusp of handing over the final phase.

“We are delighted that the first two phases have successfully seen the occupation by students for the start of term and the final phase is on programme to replicate this success.”

Further investors behind the project include Meridiam, Bouygues, Derwent Housing Association, Legal & General and the University of Hertfordshire.