The Dorothy Garrod Building, Newnham College
In conjunction with Walters and Cohen Architects, Max Fordham provided MEP and acoustic design services for this new-build student accommodation project for Newnham College, Cambridge.
The project involved the demolition of an existing 1960’s student accommodation block and its replacement with a new building comprising 84 en-suite student bedrooms, cafe and conference facilities, ancillary office accommodation, gym, party room and a new porter’s lodge.
At the project's inception, the College expressed a desire to make the new building as sustainable and low energy as possible. To this end, the building's fabric is very well insulated to minimise heat loss, with generous windows to provide good levels of daylight in the bedrooms and offices, as well as sufficient ventilation openings to maintain thermal comfort through natural ventilation alone. The glazing is carefully specified to encourage sufficient solar gain in the winter, to help offset the artificial heating load to the rooms, while ensuring the peak summertime temperatures are limited within acceptable parameters.
The M&E plant was selected to maximise energy efficiency and is located centrally in a basement plantroom. A lightwell has been provided to the plantroom to simplify future major plant replacement and also provide access to the external environment in order to facilitate the retrofit of heat pumps as a low carbon alternative to the gas boilers presently installed. A 110m2 PV array is installed on the roof to generate electricity for use in the building and to export to the grid.
The Dorothy Garrod Building was awarded RIBA East Building of the Year 2019.