1 January 2018
The Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) atrium is undergoing a major refurbishment to upgrade the area to reflect the departments reputation as one of the world's largest and highest rated multi-disciplinary centres of environmental research
The newly refurbished space will provide a cutting-edge ventilation system, a new energy efficient roof and environmentally friendly flooring and furniture to accommodate a wealth of plants and features.
The LEC department is a collaboration between world-class environmental researchers, governments scientists and commercial enterprises who work together to address the biggest environmental challenges of today.
Working within the parameters of the existing building and the external covered courtyard space, sustainable design features have been incorporated where practicable to reflect the work undertaken by the LEC department.
Some of these features are listed below:
Lower power consumption due to the redesign of lighting:
The dependence of artificial light has been reduced by providing 70m2 of glazed roof openings. Designed to capture daylight and deliver it uniformly across the atrium. Where lighting is required, LED technology will be implemented to ensure energy demand is low and maintainence is minimal.
The new roof will be airtight, helping to efficiently ventilate the space and therefore reducing heatloss and waste energy. Solar control glazing to the roof will reduce unwanted solar gain which will result in reduced internal temperatures in summer months.
Insulation reduces the need to expend energy on heating and cooling within buildings. By insulating the floor and roof the internal temperature will be much easier to maintain with less input energy.
Two fixed planters at each end of the atrium will allow for the planting of taller species to define focal points in the atrium space. Several smaller mobile planters as well as shelved planting will provide a variety of foliage at lower level.
Where practicable the design has incorporated a number of sustainable and recycled/recyclable products to better reflect the character of the LEC department;
- Earthborn Claypaint. Water based breathable emulsion eco paint. Carries the EU Ecolabel and is virtually VOC free.
- Cloudsorba Acoustic Panels. Glass fibre sound absorption consisting of recovered household glass and recycled glass fibre.
- Fabric covering is made from 100% recycled materials.
- Bolon Flooring. BREEAM - BRE Global Certification. 100% recyclable. Contains phthalates (widely used to make plastics flexible but are associated with negative health impacts).
- Ecomembrane DPM. Manufactured using 100% recycled polythene.
- Timber (generally). Sourced from well managed forests in accordance with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora).