Year in Review: The Cambridge Office on Challenges and Achievements in 2020

By Phil Armitage

15 December 2020

While it has been a challenging year for all of us, there has been excellent progress on a number of fronts.

We got our first year of in-use performance data from the Civil Engineering Building - it's performing as expected using its heat pump heating and cooling system. Faultless, clean, low carbon heating and cooling, fulfilling its energy brief of being a genuinely low carbon building. Post occupancy monitoring has successfully highlighted some easy wins to improve the energy use further, which are now being implemented. 

The Civil Engineering Building

Homerton College Dining Hall has topped out after over three years of design work. This is part of an important set of strategic improvements for the College.  

The Urban Nature Project for the Natural History Museum has achieved planning permission, benefitting from a long-term carbon reduction thanks to local heat pumps in lieu of the default position of connecting to an existing gas-fired district heating network. Additionally, we've started the journey for Central Hall of the National Railway Museum within their Vision 2025, where we helped the client understand the value of a net zero carbon solution. We have continued our work with the National Trust on the delicate and painstaking installation of lightning protection systems to their unique historic buildings. Ickworth House completed this year and now has a fully re-roofed rotunda with integrated LPS. We have also worked on South Foreland Lighthouse, Lacock Abbey and will be starting on Sissinghurst Castle Gardens and Lamb House in the new year.

(c) Feilden Fowles

The Urban Nature Project

We have completed Cambridge's first generation of Passivhaus student accommodation and have been learning from how it operates. The second generation is now starting on site, and the third generation has been tendered with a main contractor due to be appointed shortly. We've also worked on the low operational energy, low embodied energy, high bio-based materials office retrofit of 1 Regent Street for Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership, so our Passivhaus experience now covers both new build and refurbishment. 

(c) Feilden & Mawson

Combining a number of sustainability frameworks, the refurbishment of 1 Regent Street for Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership is set to be a pioneering project.

Thank you to all of you who we have worked with over the year – it’s great to be collaborating with so many fantastic teams.  We wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Phil Armitage is the leader of our Cambridge Office. He can be contacted on and +44 (0)1223 240 155.


From 14 - 18 December 2020, we're publishing a series of blog posts written by the leader of each of our five offices across the UK. You can read all of our Year in Review blog posts here.



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