New Passivhaus Student Accommodation for Lucy Cavendish College

New Passivhaus Student Accommodation for Lucy Cavendish College

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SDC has commenced work on Lucy Cavendish College’s new Passivhaus student accommodation block.

The scheme, designed by RH Partnership Architects, will provide 72 eco-friendly and modern en-suite bedrooms for students studying at the College. The rooms will be arranged in different combinations, with self-catering facilities and social spaces. A café and bar area, and informal learning and collaboration spaces will be provided on the ground floor. The new building will support Lucy Cavendish College’s increasingly diverse student body, providing a range of co-accessible and fully accessible rooms to create the ideal inclusive learning and living environment.

Set in the West Cambridge Conservation Area, the project is designed to complement the surrounding college buildings and integrate with the existing scenery of the site. As such, a new informal lawn will be created to the South of the accommodation block, with a more formal square lawn to the North. The creation of these spaces improves circulation routes and provides all bedrooms with a garden view.

What is most exciting about this scheme for SDC, however, is the Passivhaus design. This scheme is set to become the largest Passivhaus student residential building in Cambridge. To meet the required standards, the project targets high levels of insulation and low energy demand in-use. High comfort levels will also be achieved through lots of daylight and natural ventilation.

The building itself will utilise a Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) frame with low embodied carbon cement replacements in the concrete elements. The exterior will be a combination of clay tile and timber with lime mortar brickwork to help reduce the embodied carbon of the materials in the façade.

The design eliminates the use of fossil fuels by utilising Air Source Heat Pump technology to provide space heating and hot water. Water consumption will be reduced through the specification of highly water-efficient sanitaryware and appliances, and a landscape integrated drainage strategy will help to reduce and control water run-off whilst providing irrigation to the gardens. 

Preparatory work on the development began in January and the first demolition work commenced at the end of February. SDC is due to fully take over the site in June and the construction works will complete in Autumn 2022, ready for the new term.