Sustainable Design Statement

The first part of my project concerns the master plan for the Kingston Hill University Campus.  

My major interventions are:

 1. High density buildings at the centre of the site providing efficient and adequate areas for the future development of the University needs.

2. Music departments to be located sporadically throughout the woodland areas. 

3. Listed buildings refurbished into office / admin spaces. 

4. Extensive planting of trees over a 30 year period (mention this will help encourage the maintenance of the wooded areas.) 

5. A lecture hall and student union building designed in detail

The building is located at the terminus of the listed wall, where the land slopes downwards into a wooded area before reaching the Eastern site boundary. It occupies the transition from University to Woodland. Split into 2 parts, one building follows the slope of the landscape – utilising this gradient to provide a natural rake for the lecture hall auditorium. The other building provides a more flexible, cellular floor plan that protrudes from the landscape.

One of the key concepts behind my building is to have a light connection with the ground. Avoiding excessive ground work by employing concrete pad foundations rather than slab or strip foundations. Stone and laminated timber columns support the building. The key influence of Walter Segal self build typology was maintained whilst setting the structural concept. The timber frame and medium scale nature of the design promotes a building with low energy consumption.


Whilst some of the components, such as the tall Laminated columns will require special order and manufacture the majority of the timber pieces; such as floor joists, beams, rafters and battens, will be of a standard size. Within a 5 mile radius of site there are in excess of 15 local timber merchants. The use of these will allow the transport impact of standard sized timber components to be minimised. The timber purchased must be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The FSC guarantees sustainable production of timber. Ensuring that forests are managed, protected and regenerated naturally. The FSC also requires the forest owner to use a local work force. When timber is produced in this manner it can not only be considered a renewable resource that is cost effective for a project of this scale but it also has the ability to embody carbon and act as a nitrogen sink. 

The sedum roof build up will allow the roof to regulate the temperature of the building in both the cool winter and warm summer months. Although it depends on a variety of factors a green roof can provide extra insulation and reduce heat loss due to wind when compared to a bare roof. Conversely it’s extra thermal mass can reduce the fluctuation in temperature changes during hotter weather so that the building can be cooled more efficiently. 

Land + Ecology:

At a master plan level my proposal will require the removal off a number of small sappling trees from an unmaintained area of woodland. This is offset by the planting of 77 trees along the central boulevard that runs adjacent to the historic wall and the proposed avenue that lines the main vehicular access though the site. It is envisaged that the addition of planted trees will continue over a 30+ year period and that the areas of maintained woodland across the campus will increase. 

Kingston University should integrate with the borough in a more engaging manner. The auditorium featured in my final proposal will be available for performances that will be open to attendance from the local community. 

The music departments and practice rooms situated throughout woodland are located on trail that already exists in parts. One primary objective of this is to allow the sound to be diffused in a natural way rather than disturbing the occupants of the business, nursing and law schools at the centre of the campus. The trail could be made public in order to use the extensive wooded areas not only for recreation but also to engage with music students development as they practice. 

Energy usage:

The building is a warm timber frame that is well insulated and has the potential to embody carbon and act as a nitrogen sink. Large aspect windows allow for ample light to enter the building which will have the effect of reducing electrical consumption. Extended overhangs on south facing façades combined with a Low-E coating to the glazing and natural ventilation through the auditorium windows will reduce the solar heat gain and ensure that the building does not require excessive cooling.

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