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IESD wins top green design award

June 2006

sressIESD has won the prestigious Building Services Environmental Initiative Award 2006 for its unique work on University College London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), which opened in November. The award was announced at a ceremony in London on Monday, June 26.

The SSEES building uses natural ventilation instead of the usual air conditioning, and presented a number of challenges. Naturally ventilated buildings cool down overnight to help maintain comfortable temperatures during the day. However the South East is already one of the warmest parts of the country and London is hotter than surrounding areas. The SSEES building is just 500 yards from the hottest part of London, meaning that at night it is five degrees warmer than areas lying outside the capital.

IESD met these challenges by creating an atrium in the building's centre into which fresh air flows from the top and bottom. The cool air then flows to the offices and library spaces on the SSEES's six floors. As the air warms up due to heat from people and computers, it rises naturally and flows out of the building through chimney stacks. When the weather is particularly hot, pipes of chilled water are used to cool the air as it enters the building from the top of the atrium.

It is estimated the SSESS building will use half the energy of a typical open-plan naturally ventilated office.

Professor Kevin Lomas, Director of IESD said: "It was an exciting evening and it's very gratifying when other people recognise the invention and the novelty in what you've developed. It also confirms your own feelings about the significance of what you have done. It's the first time that we know of where mechanically cooled air has been used to ventilate a building without the need for any fans or ducts, substantially reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

"Climate change is a major problem. The SSEES shows how buildings can stay cool and able to withstand the likely rises in temperature over the next century without adding to the problem."

Awards for Science Communication

keith picJune 2006

At the annual SETPOINT Leicestershire celebration event held at Leicester University on Monday June 12th IESD research student Keith Baker received an individual award for his work in helping to communicate science to school pupils.

The award was for Keith's development (along with Neil Brown of the IESD and Chris Darby of SETPOINT) of a workshop to teach pupils about wind turbines. This has proved to be one of the most popular activities run by the organisation. A further certificate was awarded to DMU for its significant contribution to the work of SETPOINT over the last year.

SETPOINT is a national network that promotes science, engineering and mathematics through its Science and Engineering Ambassadors scheme. Under the SEA scheme academics and other professionals inform school pupils about their work and encourage them to study science subjects at GCSE and A-level, and to consider further education in science and engineering. IESD currently has two SEAs, Keith Baker and Dr. Andy Wright, and actively encourages students and staff to develop their science communication skills.

Keith says of becoming an SEA: "It's a great opportunity to enthuse pupils about energy, the environment, and science in general. I've found that pupils love to be challenged, particularly the younger ones."

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