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King's wins top Green Award

30 March 2007 PR51/07

The College has won a prestigious Green Gown Award. In the ‘Sustainable Construction' category, King's won for transforming the Grade 1 Listed Building on the Strand Campus. The award recognised the ‘reduced energy and carbon emissions from a sustainable refurbishment of the historic South Range of the King's Building'.

The seven awards of which ‘Sustainable Construction' is one, are announced in today's edition of The Times Higher (30 March 2007). ‘Given that one of the key issues for sustainable construction is the upgrade of existing buildings, we are particularly pleased to receive this award for refurbishment of the historic founding building of King's College London,' comments Ian Caldwell, Director of Estates.

The two-year £40 million conservation-led redevelopment of the South Range was one of the most imaginative and creative refurbishment of a major university building in Britain: restoring the elegant features of the 1830s building whilst providing a first-class environment for the 21st century.

Ian Caldwell, explains: ‘When the refurbishment was undertaken it was decided to adopt a more sustainable solution which would restore the original logic of the building – public spaces at the lower levels and offices above – remove many later alterations such as mezzanines to restore high volume rooms, and enhance the use of natural ventilation and daylight wherever possible.'

Double height

This philosophy has resulted in a building that is now light and airy. Corridor walls have been opened up and glazed partitions and new roof lights bring natural light into the heart of the building. The public spaces have been restored as double height volumes with purpose-designed internal shutters to control solar gain and also allow light reduction for audio-visual presentations, with opening windows and punka-fans to aid air movement. With this approach, cooling has been restricted to a few specialist areas.

During construction, the original materials were re-used as much as possible and there has been a reduction in energy costs

The refurbishment of the South Range created a 250-seat lecture theatre and a suite of five variable-sized teaching spaces; social and dining space; and on the upper levels of the building, new academic departmental office space for the staff of the Departments of Geography and War Studies, together with dedicated space for up to 85 graduate students.

The awards are sponsored by HEEPI (Higher Education – Environmental Performance Improvement) a project funded under the Leadership, Governance and Management initiative of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The project is based at, and led by, the University of Bradford. The Awards, now in their third year, recognise innovative sustainable actions – both academic and operational – by universities and colleges across the UK.

Professor Peter James, Co-Director, said: ‘The Green Gown Awards show how commitment, energy and innovation enable universities and colleges to respond positively to environmental and social challenges.'

Notes to editors

King's College London
King's College London is the fourth oldest university in England with more than 13,700 undergraduates and nearly 5,600 graduate students in nine schools of study based at five London campuses. It is a member of the Russell Group: a coalition of the UK's major research-based universities. The College has had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level, and it has recently received an excellent result in its audit by the Quality Assurance Agency.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, social sciences, natural sciences and biomedicine, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres, more than any other university.

King's is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings, with income from grants and contracts of more than £110 million, and has an annual income of more than £387 million.

Further information
Public Relations Office, King's College London
Tel: 020 7848 3202 Email:

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