Arup contributes innovative Building Services Designs for the Simon Sainsbury Centre at University of Cambridge

9 January 2018

Arup has led on the Building Services Design for the Simon Sainsbury Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School.

The building services design complements a strong architectural vision for this new extension, providing a comfortable environment, minimal energy consumption and flexibility. The ventilation strategy for the building uses opening windows for natural ventilation in the summer.  An innovative distributed façade ventilation system for heat recovery in winter has also been cleverly designed. This ‘mixed-mode’ ventilation of office spaces avoids the need for air conditioning and also allows for future flexibility of the internal layout. The approach will reduce the in-use energy consumption and has allowed the building to exceed the energy requirements of Part L 2013 by over 25 per cent.

Cambridge Judge Business School was founded over 25 years ago, on the Grade II listed, John Outram redesigned Addenbrooke’s building in the historic centre of Cambridge. Whilst the existing buildings formed an important part of the school’s identity and character, these no longer provided sufficient space, or appropriate facilities, for its current and future needs.

image from inside Sainsbury Centre image from inside Sainsbury Centre
Arup led on the Building Servces Design for a 5,506m² new development at the Cambridge Judge Business School Simon Sainsbury Centre. ©Hufton+Crow

Arup together with Stanton Williams was commissioned to enhance, consolidate and expand the school’s facilities on its existing site. This will enable the school to operate more efficiently and support future growth. A 5,506m² new development, the Cambridge Judge Business School Simon Sainsbury Centre, allows the school to expand its role as a leading Executive Education provider, offering existing clients a state-of-the-art learning environment.

Achieving practical completion in October 2017, students and executive education delegates began arriving this month.  The Simon Sainsbury Centre will be the first building in the UK to employ a distributed low-energy ventilation system; with over 60 heat recovery units integrated into the façade throughout the building. This system uses 10 times less fan energy than a conventional ducted system and preserves the aesthetic of the exposed concrete soffits throughout.

The Simon Sainsbury Centre marks a new chapter in the history of Cambridge Judge Business School, bringing together all parts of our community enabling us to continue solving real-world problems in even more diverse and creative ways. ” Christoph Loch Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School

Working collaboratively to optimise the building form and façade on a constrained site, Arup has ensured that all office spaces operate without the need for active cooling. Adoption of 3D modelling at an early stage in the design process has allowed for clear coordination of services.

Arup also carried out detailed modelling of the building envelope. This work helped to inform the architect’s façade design, to reduce risk of overheating and allow optimal placement of photovoltaics.

We have a special and close working relationship with the architect Stanton Williams. We suggested a Building Services Strategy that placed the user at the heart of the designs and provided a low energy solution. We have created a design that embraces the architectural vision: the concrete soffits are exposed and people can see the raw structure of the building. We have produced a building services design which preserves this aesthetic and have gone one step further to exploit the thermal mass of the building. Our aim has been to create an environment which is more comfortable, more useable and uses less energy. ” Joshua Bird, Lead Building Services Engineer at Arup Joshua Bird Lead Building Services Engineer