Sustainable design

The building's design will utilise natural ventilation as far as possible and provide improved control over heating and air conditioning benefiting from "intelligent" computer controlled natural ventilation systems. There will be green and brown roof gardens improving the ecology of the site. Energy usage will be supplemented by dual Combined Heat and Power units, providing the heat and power as well as photo-voltaic panels on the roof.

The design of the building structure includes the use of materials from sustainable sources where possible – in fact the main facets of the external envelope are to be of brick construction.

Diagram 3

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Natural ventilation
|Opening - window control
|LZC Technologies (Low/Zero Carbon)
|Domestic Water Services|
Reclaimed Water Service
|Lighting Design Concept|
Building Controls|

Natural ventilation:  Natural ventilation is a key passive strategy of the building in order to provide the fresh air requirements to occupied spaces in the building, and also provide passive cooling as a means of displacing active cooling systems in most of the building. The basic massing of the building means that deep floor plates have been avoided, and natural ventilation is possible in all occupied spaces, with the exception of those spaces which must be mechanically ventilated/conditioned due to specific environmental considerations, such as the venue.

The fenestration in the building fundamentally comprises two main types (i) tilt and turn aluminium windows located behind the perforate brick screen, and (ii) opening timber panels located in the curtain walling sections. Within these two categories, four opening types may be defined:

Type A: Bottom hung inward opening glazed windows located behind the perforated brick screen. Openings are above spandrel level. Glazing is high transparency to maximise daylight behind the perforated brick screen. Where automated, these windows are fitted with an 800mm chain actuator integrated into the head of the aluminium frame.

Type B: Side hung inward opening glazed windows located behind the perforated brick screen. Openings are above spandrel level. Glazing is high transparency to maximise daylight behind the perforated brick screen. Where automated, these windows are fitted with an 800mm chain actuator integrated into the mullion of the aluminium frame.

Type C: Full height side hung timber panels located in clear curtain walling sections of the elevation. A series of timber slats are provided to the external face of the window, with the exception of the type D windows on the north elevation where these slats have been removed to maximise free area. Where automated, these windows are fitted with a 600mm chain actuator integrated into the mullion of the timber frame.

Type D: Side hung timber panels located in clear curtain walling sections of the elevation, fixed from spandrel level down. A series of timber slats are provided to the external face of the window, with the exception of the type D windows on the north elevation where these slats have been removed to maximise free area. Where automated, these windows are fitted with a 600mm chain actuator integrated into the mullion of the timber frame.

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Diagram 4

Openings – window control: Every occupied space in the building has been provided with a combination of actuated and manually openable windows. This combination provides users with various options in terms of regulating air movement in each occupied space, either to avoid winter drafts or provide summer time cooling. Manually openable windows will be easily identified with a handle. Actuated windows will not have a handle, however they are provided with manual overrides for the actuated openings to let the staff and students temporarily override the automatic control. Although the BMS will regain control of the actuator after a set period, the ability to control their internal environment is a key factor in the Staff and Students' perception of comfort.

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Diagram 5

LZC Technologies (Low/Zero Carbon): As a part of the design, a LZC Feasibility study was undertaken, and various LZC scenarios were investigated to ascertain the preferred combination of technologies.

The chosen scenario comprises two 42 kW gas fired CHP units, one covering 100% of the domestic hot water, and the other meeting 25% of the building's space heating demand.  Gas fired condensing boilers meet the remaining 75% of the space heating requirements. In addition, 185m2 of Photovoltaic panels are integrated on the building's roof area.

The arrangement of two CHPs and photovoltaics provides the greatest capacity for on-site electricity generation of the options considered, reducing the dependence on grid supplied electricity, and consequently reducing carbon emissions associated with the building's electrical demand.

The year-round hot water demand of the building means that one CHP will be in operation throughout the year, providing a source of on-site electrical generation in all seasons. The second CHP, meeting a portion of the space heating demand will have a shorter period of operation, mainly during the heating season.

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Diagram 6

Domestic Water Services: The incoming water main from the Thames Water mains distribution network in Sheffield Street will supply the water needs of the building. Upon entry into the building the water supply will be metered before branching to feed the domestic water storage tank and the top up to the reclaimed water system.

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Reclaimed Water Service: Reclaimed water, comprising of treated grey water and harvested rain water, will be pumped from the grey water treatment clear water storage tank and distributed around the building primarily for the WC flushing. Reclaimed water will also be used for window washing, refuse wash down and irrigation.

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Lighting Design Concept: The lighting design for the building combines natural day lighting which is supplemented by the artificial lighting installation. The combination of low energy lamps and intelligent lighting control systems both in internal and external lighting schemes will provide an energy efficient lighting system for the building.

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Building Controls: The new LSE Student Centre will have a dedicated Building Management System (BMS). In line with requirements of LSE Facilities Management, the BMS will be the latest version of the TRIDIUM system and will interact and communicate with the existing LSE system.

The internal environment of each area will also be monitored by the different internal detectors (temperature, humidity, CO2, daylight). The occupancy of different areas will be monitored either by PIR or CO2 detection. From this monitoring the heating, the passive and active ventilation and cooling systems will operate in response to the occupancy levels. For each area and different function within that area the energy consumed and the internal condition of that area will be logged and then used to improve the efficiency of the new LSE Student Centre.

There will be a weather station dedicated to the new LSE Student Centre. This will monitor the wind direction and speed, rainfall and the outside air temperature and humidity.

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