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Green features


The village is the first student residential project in the country to achieve the BREEAM accolade of ‘outstanding’. This award is assessed through an analysis of building design and operation.

Key award-winning features include:

  • Energy-monitoring displays in each apartment and townhouse
  • Solar panels
  • Timber-framed highly insulated buildings Heat recovery units (80% of heat recovered)
  • Combined heat and power unit (CHP)
  • Low-energy lighting
  • Secure by design standard (lighting and security)
  • Rainwater harvesting (using the biodiversity pond and additional holding tanks)
  • Thermostatic valves on radiators
  • Secure bike parking and storage
  • Green open space (2m2 per occupant)
  • Open piazza and performance space

Building materials

  • The buildings are made of pre-fabricated open panel timber wall frames from a sustainable source.
  • Bathroom 'pods' were sourced locally and installed using a crane as completed units to maximise productivity and reduce waste.

Energy use

  • There are interactive displays showing students what energy or water they are using, enabling them to compare their energy use against their neighbours in real-time.
  • All rooms in the flats and houses are lit with low energy lighting.
  • The building materials used, and the high standard to which the houses and apartments have been insulated and made airtight, means that rooms require little heating.
  • Radiators in the rooms have thermostatically controlled valves.
  • Mechanical heat recovery ventilation units circulate fresh, filtered air, with an 80% recovery of existing heat from the building, resulting in a continuous supply of fresh air.


  • Aerated taps and showers that result in less water being used - as the water streams are mixed with air.
  • Water is heated using solar panels, which pre-heats water for showers and taps.
  • Dual flush toilets and rainwater is used to flush toilets.
  • The pond in the centre of the village is used to harvest rainwater, as are the roofs of the buildings.


  • The houses and flats have extensive recycling facilities.
  • Students are encouraged to consider every single bit of waste to assess if it can be recycled. This fits with current practice in the University - there are no bins in lecture theatres, social spaces or offices. Instead a range of recycling facilities can be found helping to separate waste for recycling effectively.


  • Students will be encouraged to grow vegetables
  • Dining rooms are large designed to enable the households to eat together.

Green Ambassadors

A team of Green Ambassadors encourage and help their fellow residents to live in the most sustainable way possible, as well as organising a packed social programme of competitions and events.