Award for Centre for Medicine’s sustainability credentials

Largest non-residential Passivhaus building at University of Leicester is attracting praise for its approach to managing its environmental impact

The University of Leicester’s landmark Centre for Medicine building has won the ProCon Leicestershire Awards Sustainable Development of the Year Award 2016.

The award, which recognises the best new environmentally sustainable development in Leicestershire or Rutland, was announced this month at a ceremony at the King Power Stadium.

The Centre for Medicine, built by contractor Willmott Dixon, was certified as UK’s largest non-residential Passivhaus building earlier this year. Developed in Germany in the early 1990s, Passivhaus is the fastest-growing energy performance standard in the world.

A key facet of Passivhaus is a ‘fabric first’ approach to construction and as such the building is incredibly well insulated and air tight to prevent heat leakage through the windows, walls, floor and roof. Comfort for staff, students and visitors from the local community and beyond, will be maintained by a state-of-the-art heating, cooling and ventilation system.

The ProCon Leicestershire Awards are the county’s biggest celebration of the built environment and the people who develop, design and construct winning developments.

Pete Bale, Project Manager at the University of Leicester, said: “I am delighted that the Centre for Medicine has been recognised for its Sustainability credentials, which are of the highest environmental standards. The Passivhaus approach provides an exceptional internal environment that not only provides high quality study space but a building that interacts with the users to minimise its impact on the wider environment. It is a credit to all involved and one day all buildings will be built to these standards.”

Sandra Lee from Environment Team at the University said: “The University is working to embed sustainability in all our operations, therefore it is only fitting that a building that hosts cutting edge teaching and research also utilises the best technology to help minimise the University’s impact on the environment as well as maximising building user comfort to help our staff and students be as alert and productive as possible.”

James Elliment, operations manager at Willmott Dixon, said: “The Centre for Medicine is a truly pioneering scheme for the higher education sector. Not only is it one of the most energy efficient facilities of its kind in the UK, it sets a new benchmark for energy efficiency performance in large-scale buildings. It also provides exceptional teaching and learning spaces for the university’s staff and students.”

“Passivhaus accreditation is extremely challenging and the project team worked tirelessly to ensure we achieved this for this cutting-edge facility; it is a project that we are all extremely proud of.”

The building has also recently won the awards Best Commercial Project and Best Public Sector Project in the recent KNX UK Awards, for Entech (Energy Technlogy) Ltd. The awards recognise the key role that the KNX international building control standard played in allowing every element of the building control to be integrated in order to achieve the Passivhaus standard.

The Centre for Medicine is the largest investment in medical teaching and applied research by a UK university in the last decade. To make a donation to the Centre for Medicine Appeal, or for more information, please visit