Grimshaw's building for the University of Cambridge is most notable for its implementation of sustainable engineering principles and the innovation it presents
East RIBA Regional Award 2022
Grimshaw with RHP for University of Cambridge
Contract value: Confidential
The building represents the first part of a move of the university’s engineering faculty from its current central location to the West Cambridge site. Evident to visitors arriving at reception is the testing laboratory, featuring an extraordinary metre-thick concrete testing slab, isolated on dampers. Ancillary laboratories include one focused on reducing concrete’s carbon content. Wrapped around these are research and collaboration spaces, culminating in a shared canteen and a top floor roof garden.
The measured energy performance of this building betters predictions, which must be viewed in relation to the high unregulated loads expected. The project is most notable for the implementation of sustainable engineering principles and the innovation presented, including introducing expressed diagonals to form storey-deep trusses rather than carbon-intensive transfer structures where longer clear spans are required. A benchmark for future projects.