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Dorset's first Passivhaus education building is completed by Morgan Sindall

Dorset’s first education building to use one of the world’s most exacting environmental standards has been unveiled at the Arts University Bournemouth.

Northcroft, part of Capita Symonds, acted as Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors for the two new art studios built to the pioneering Passivhaus criteria which have been completed by Morgan Sindall. The university is only the third in the country to use the concept which aims to dramatically reduce heat-loss thus significantly lowering utility costs.

The 13,272 sq ft studios will be used for a variety of courses including architecture, fine art and photography. To benefit the art students, the buildings have north-facing windows to reduce glare into the studio space.

The Passivhaus concept was developed in Germany over twenty years ago as a way of creating highly energy efficient buildings. Key features of these buildings include highly-insulated walls, floors and triple glazing, together with an excellent level of air tightness. During construction, Morgan Sindall was able to achieve the highest level of air tightness recorded in the UK to date. Fresh air is supplied via an exceptionally efficient ventilation and heat recovery system.

Stuart Bartholomew, vice chairman at Arts University Bournemouth, said: “We’re thrilled to officially open the new studios to our students. The Arts University Bournemouth has an environmental policy focusing on reducing its carbon footprint and the Passivhaus studios will certainly help us meet our targets. As one of the only completed Passivhaus university buildings, we hope that many more education establishments will follow in our wake.”

Jonathan Dronsfield, Northcroft’s local director said: “We are finding that more of our clients are looking for simpler ways to reduce their long term running costs which Passivhaus achieves. As the market becomes used to the Passivhaus concept, the premium for its delivery has reduced significantly, to levels where the additional capital cost can be quickly recouped.”

Jon Daines, special works manager at the Poole office of Morgan Sindall, said: “Morgan Sindall has successfully delivered a number of Passivhaus buildings across the country and expect this number to grow as the technology becomes ever more popular in contemporary construction. The Passivhaus air test produced excellent results proving the quality of the build and the project was completed to schedule. We’re sure the university and the students will reap the benefits the Passivhaus studios can offer.”


Pictured (L-R): Lee Haynes project manager (Morgan Sindall) and Jon Daines special works manager (Morgan Sindall) (front), with Richard Guppy, head of facilities (Arts University Bournemouth), Prof Stuart Bartholomew, principal and vice-chancellor (Arts University Bournemouth), and students Ruth Evans, Donna Jean Peters and Perdy Delaisse.