The University recognises that operating our buildings requires working closely with the estates' projects team and maintenance staff to help us rise to the challenge of meeting our carbon targets.

The Hive when it was under construction.

We aim to provide spaces that enable health, wellbeing and productivity for all our students and staff and have a development and construction policy developed from the Green Building Council delivering better performance review. We are members of UK Green Building Council and use their resources and events to ensure our built environment is at the forefront of sustainability, biodiversity and carbon reduction.

We will continue to work with students to help us match their needs to our requirements, utilising projects whereever possible.

Our latest refurbishment, transforming a drab concrete to iconic gold glad home for our Medical School achieved a RICS SKA Gold award. 

Construction and refurbishment targets

Our current targets and some examples of how we are going to achieve them can be found in this document: 

Sustainability Targets 2023/24

We are working with our construction supply chain to help them map the manufacturing locations of university suppliers and have added in key performance indicators as the start of this process in both smaller contracts and £1m plus contracts. We have targeted this supply chain because of its relatively high value to begin this work. Our Energy page has more information on our Heat Decarbonisation Plan.

Digital Twin of Sheila Scott

The University has created a digital twin pilot of the Sheila Scott building on our St Johns campus with the goal to contribute to the decarbonisation program. A digital twin is a live model of a building and allows the users to view all live data of the environment, such as temperature, humidity, CO2 levels and occupancy. The data is collected via various sensors and metering systems. In addition to these sensors, electricity and gas usage is monitored through metering. The data collected by the sensors feeds to the digital twin will allow the University to suggest proper changes to the equipment or settings to improve building efficiency and save carbon and keep it comfortable for building users.

The University, working alongside student researchers, undertakes studies to investigate “Integrating Stakeholder Needs with Digital Twin Data” and “Can a Digital Twin identify energy inefficiencies?”. The video below discusses stakeholder feedback and observational data alongside the digital twin. This human element is a vital part of a digital project as stakeholders that are engaged will help us identify the in-depth human factors in the building.

Research using the physical data from the sensors has shown:

  • Significant heat loss in the building during the winter through windows and insufficiently insulated roofing
  • The AC system underperforms due to the significant heat loss, requiring more energy to maintain temperature levels
  • Heating pipes lack insulation, causing further heat loss and a less effective heating system within the building
  • Poor ventilation due to the structure and heating of the building

Read more about the research and the full report on the Susthingsout blog.


DEC ratings

View our current display energy certificate (DEC) ratings.

All tenderers for new projects are made aware of these objectives and the University’s commitment to sustainability. They are referred to the institution’s Sustainability Construction and Refurbishment Policy and relevant strategies (energy, water, transport waste and biodiversity) and targets.  


The SDG logos for 9. Industry Innovation and 12. Infrastructure and Responsible Consumption and Production