img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Ash Court, Girton College, Cambridge

Schueco Excellence Awards 2014: Winner, Sustainability. Entrant: Allies and Morrison Architects

North-east elevation. Each bedroom has a fixed main window alongside a louvred panel in front of an insulated vent.
North-east elevation. Each bedroom has a fixed main window alongside a louvred panel in front of an insulated vent.

One of the most energy-efficient student housing buildings in the UK, Ash Court, has been designed by Allies and Morrison Architects with a 100-year design life to future-proof against climate change.

The brick-clad, three-storey wing provides 50 en-suite study bedrooms at the Grade II* listed Girton College. The architects decided against a curtain walling system and instead used a super-insulated envelope with triple-glazing and powder-coated Schueco AWS 90.SI aluminium window profiles. These were combined with louvres, brise soleils, pvs and cills, supplied by Anglian Architectural.  

On the north-east elevation, for each bedroom unit a fixed main window is combined with a louvred panel in front of an insulated vent. Windows on the south-west are shaded with brise soleil on a secondary framing system. Air tightness was given a particularly high priority resulting in a rate of 1.83m3/m2/hr.

Window sensors automatically disable the heating when air quality is satisfactory. In anticipation of increased future cooling requirements, pipework was embedded into the concrete soffit to enable cooling with ground water. Some 190m2 of photovoltaics were incorporated into the steeply-pitched roof, generating 40% of electricity on-site. 

The building achieved a 40% reduction in CO2 beyond Part L2A (2006), and was rated BREEAM Excellent.

‘It’s still very rare to combine high architectural ambition with passive techniques,’ says judge Sunand Prasad. ‘Allies and Morrison have used those techniques skillfully to make lots of light and simplicity, with a very sophisticated typological approach.’ 

Gable end. Concrete frames the window ensemble and terracotta cladding.
Gable end. Concrete frames the window ensemble and terracotta cladding.

Schueco  Excellence Awards 2014: Commended, Education.

Praised by the judges for its impeccable details and sophistication, Ash Court was also the winner of the Sustainability category. 

Brise soleil on a secondary framing system provide shade on the south-west elevation, which also incorporates rooftop photovoltaics.
Brise soleil on a secondary framing system provide shade on the south-west elevation, which also incorporates rooftop photovoltaics.
The north-east elevation combines triple-glazing within a super-insulated envelope.
The north-east elevation combines triple-glazing within a super-insulated envelope.

Credits

Client: Girton College 

Architect: Allies and Morrison Architects

Structural engineer: Fluid Structures

Services engineer: Max Fordham

Main contractor: Mansell

Specialist contractor: Anglian Architectural

 

Ash Court was also commended in the Education category 

Suppliers

 

 

Latest

Coronavirus has thrown into sharp focus wellbeing, home working and healthy building in housing design. Four practitioners in the field discuss the impact of the pandemic on their thinking

Huge improvements in domestic space are possible – and necessary

In a pandemic-driven recession architects are likely to be reasonably content with flatlining fees, even if there are shades of grey

Architects are holding their own in the face of Covid-led recession

Surface manufacturer's new Art of Darkness finishes encapsulate the look of natural materials in the night time

Quartz surfaces manufacturer adds four deep shades to range

Award-winning Danish designer introduces Almond Satin Matt shade and extra wash bowl sizes to the minimalist bathroom collection

Award-winning Danish designer adds new colour to bathroom collection

To promote housing diversity and unlock potential for 130,000 new homes, the National Custom and Self Build Association has united with the Federation of Master Builders, UK Cohousing Network and National Community Land Trust Network to create new group, Housing Diversification. We ask group spokesman and NaCSBA CEO Andrew Baddeley Chappell why it’s needed.

What issues will Housing Diversification press government on?