Double accolade for stunning architecture at The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China

Double accolade for stunning architecture at The University of Nottingham Ningbo
University of Nottingham News Press releases 2009 March Double accolade for stunning architecture at The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China

PA 69/09

A stunning new landmark building at The University of Nottingham has won international recognition for sustainable design — scooping two awards on different sides of the world.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET), at The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China, took first prize in a competition recognising the best in sustainable construction at an international property event in Cannes.

CSET beat competing buildings from all over the world to win the ‘Green Buildings’ category at MIPIM, the world’s premier property convention. CSET is a research centre focusing on the new and renewable energy systems that will play a key part in sustainable development and the fight against climate change.

The accolade comes in the same week as another award for CSET — this one announced in Beijing, China. The building was named as the ‘Best environmental design’ in the 2009 Space Awards, a competition that rewards the very best in innovative, eco-friendly design in the People’s Republic.

Designed by Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA) — a specialist Italian practice which only does ‘green’ design — CSET uses innovative technologies within building design and is a landmark collaborative project between the UK and China addressing some of the major issues affecting sustainable development in China. As well as being a centre for excellence for research and teaching, CSET is also playing a key role in the Virtual Academy for Sustainable Cities outlined in a 2008 agreement between Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

CSET provides laboratory, office and seminar accommodation and was designed as an exemplar building, to minimise its environmental impact by being zero carbon and generating all of its energy requirements from renewable sources. The University of Nottingham, Ningbo, opened in 2005 and now has more than 3,700 students.

In the final of the MIPIM Awards ‘Green Building’ category, the judging panel — headed by Peter Goodacre, President of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (UK) — whittled down all the original entries to a shortlist of three. CSET was in good company in the Green Buildings category competing against BDP Manchester Studio in Manchester and Elm Park Mixed-Use Development in Dublin. The awards were announced on March 12, 2009.

Professor Alan Dodson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Infrastructure, said: “This is very welcome recognition, by the global property community, of the University’s commitment to sustainability both in its research endeavours and in its infrastructure development projects. The CSET building is on our Chinese campus where it gives prominence to our efforts to meaningfully engage on the sustainability agenda with the world’s fastest growing economy.”

Chris Jagger, Director of Estate Management, attended the gala awards ceremony with Mario Cucinella, principal of MCA, to receive the award. Mr Jagger said: “Winning this award is a fantastic achievement for the University. CSET is well deserving of the Green Buildings award from our peers. The MIPIM awards are prestigious international awards and highly regarded throughout the world. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the project and thank them all for their hard work and dedication that contributed to our success.”

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “We are proud of our pioneering record in green architecture and winning such an important award for a building in China is symbolically very important. I am delighted.”

The Space Award for ‘Best Environmental Design’, announced on March 5, 2009 in Beijing, was collected by Professor Jo Darkwa, Director of CSET, and Ms Annegret Brandau, Lecturer in Architectural Technology.

The University of Nottingham is at the forefront of sustainable construction in the UK as well — March 11 2009 saw the official opening of Phase II of the Jubilee Campus, a 30m development that has transformed a former brownfield site with three landmark new buildings that build on the University’s commitment to modern, sustainable design.