In today’s rapidly evolving world, the education sector faces a pressing need to embrace sustainability as a core principle. With growing environmental concerns and the urgency to address climate change, educational institutions hold a unique position of responsibility.
Applying sustainable practises into learning environments is a great way to start inspiring students to become environmentally conscious leaders – it’s time to start investing in our futures!
With that, here’s what Leeds City College did to promote sustainability within their building.
The Construction Process
Leeds City College needed a permanent solution to accommodate for the growing number of applicants reaching out to them. It was decided that a modular facility would be made, built offsite and then later brought onto the campus.
Modular construction plays a crucial role in enhancing sustainability, it’s an approach that revolutionises the traditional building process by prefabricating components in a controlled factory setting. This ensures faster construction times and increased efficiency. In traditional construction excess materials often end up in landfills, which are a major source of environmental pollution. Reduced construction waste is a massive contributing factor to the significant sustainability benefits of going modular. Constructing in a factory setting means precise measurements, accurate material usage, and overall minimal waste generation.
The speed of the modular process naturally means that construction machinery and equipment gives off fewer emissions. Modular construction is the more eco-friendlier method, other schools would benefit from following in Leeds City College’s footsteps.
In order to power this modular building economically, photovoltaic (PV) panels were installed onto the roof of the facility.
PV technology harnesses the power of sunlight to generate clean and renewable electricity, proving itself invaluable to buildings seeking to reduce environmental impact. By installing these panels educational institutions can tap into the abundant solar energy.
For Leeds City College PV was the perfect solution for enhancing their sustainability efforts whilst lowering costs of energy. The new-build modular facility was constructed to keep up with a growing number of applicants and to ensure that the campus could stay current with developments in technology.
The incorporation of PV panels seamlessly aligns with these goals, enabling the college to harness the advantages of sustainable energy while ensuring its campus remains at the forefront of progress and sustainability.
EV Charging Stations
In its pursuit of environmental awareness, the college installed six electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the car park below its premises. This strategic move ensures that the campus remains equipped to meet the evolving needs of electric vehicle users. By incorporating all the necessary ductwork during the installation process, the college lays the groundwork for seamlessly adding more EV charging points in the future, without the need for disruptive excavation.
As electric vehicles become more prevalent in the years to come, the college’s foresight ensures that it can continue supporting electric mobility without costly and environmentally taxing retrofits. By providing convenient and accessible EV charging infrastructure, the college sets an inspiring example for students, staff, and visitors.
The presence of EV points not only facilitates sustainable transportation choices but also fosters a culture of environmental consciousness throughout the campus.
Energy Efficient Heating & Cooling
Another way Leeds City College embraced sustainability is by implementing air source heat pumps. Air source heat pumps heat both the facility and water in the building, making it fully electric.
Heat pumps work by absorbing heat from the outside air and transferring it indoors, even in chilly weather conditions. By utilising this renewable energy source, the college reduces its reliance on conventional heating systems that typically use fossil fuels, leading to a significant reduction in carbon emissions and overall environmental impact.
These systems operate at a fraction of the energy consumption compared to traditional heating systems, resulting in reduced utility bills and long-term financial savings. The cost-effectiveness of air source heat pumps makes them a viable choice for many educational institutions.
By following Leeds City College’s example and adopting innovative and eco-friendly practices, educational facilities can pave the way for a greener future for generations to come. You can find out more about the full project here.
It’s time for the education sector to rise to the challenge and lead the way towards a more sustainable world.