Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)

Sheffield, UK

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), developed by the University of Sheffield in partnership with aerospace giant Boeing, was set up to tackle manufacturing problems, utilising the university’s expertise in metals and new, exotic materials. This research facility, the second in the AMRC’s portfolio, is an exemplar of sustainable construction.

Challenge

The client required a building that enabled the AMRC to continue to push technical boundaries; creating an outstanding research facility that also worked sustainably, contributing to keeping emissions, and costs, down to a minimum.

With a substantial amount of their budget dedicated to sustainable solutions – £1 million out of the £8 million budget – the AMRC had very specific targets that they wanted to meet.  From the very beginning of the project we applied a clear process to how we were going to deliver a low energy, sustainability programme.

Solution

As sustainability is one of the key issues for manufacturers, the building design had to match this, operating economically in terms of both energy usage and financial impact. To provide optimum levels of natural lighting and ventilation, the windows and roof lights were designed to ensure 97% of the internal space is lit naturally during daylight hours. Even where windows were not possible, the use of materials such as ETFE and Kalwall cladding, which have excellent insulation properties but allow sunlight to pass through, means there will be only minimal use of artificial lighting in these areas.

To further help the AMRC to reduce emissions, we installed two 250 KW wind turbines to generate the bulk of the site’s energy. As well as achieving the carbon neutral status that the AMRC required, the turbines will repay the AMRC’s investment into these technologies over a five year period.

Paul Richardson, Associate Principal

Value

The multidisciplinary design team had sustainability in mind throughout; creating a building that requires only minimal electricity. All of the energy saving measures have made the AMRC virtually self sufficient, creating a carbon neutral building with greatly reduced running costs. Our solutions have helped the client to realise their aspirations: achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating while providing a bright, airy and positive working environment for researchers and students.

The combination of the technologies our team incorporated will save the client an impressive £150,000 annually on utility bills, and will return their investment in just five years.

Our achievements at the AMRC led to us being re-commissioned to work on their expanding portfolio of research buildings.

Christine Lowry, Associate Director  

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