today, the 25th of July, is the deadline to respond to the social sciences building consultation that we emailed you about previously. We hope many of you have sent your thoughts to the consultation and we hope you will be heard. However, as you also know, We have written an open letter (see below) from this network to submit as part of the consultation. The letter outlines our concerns with the aim of engaging with Estates and Facilities Management (EFM) in a positive way on this issue. This letter has been submitted today - on the last day of the consultation, and we will keep you up to date with their response.
For now, thank you to all that have signed the letter as of today (40 signatures) and please send us your name if you would still like to add to the signature list below.
Link to consultation with details to the social science building (note this link might expire after the 25th): http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/efm/estatesdevelopment/projects/social-sciences-building
The University of Sheffield is a dynamic, growing institution at the forefront of research and learning in the UK and worldwide. We, the Carbon Neutral University network and the undersigned, appreciate and support the continual need to update and improve our facilities to maintain this high standard. We also recognise the important role of our many iconic campus buildings, from Firth Court, to the Arts Tower to the best Student Union in the UK, in representing the University community.
We have therefore viewed the current plans for the Social Sciences Hub with great interest and welcome the opportunity to engage with Estates and Facilities Management through the ongoing public consultation.
Several aspects of these plans we have support for. The provision of publicly accessible green spaces, including through pocket parks, will promote biodiversity and allow the building to both benefit and better integrate into its immediate surroundings. Similarly, plans for a sustainable drainage system including rain gardens and swales are very positive.
However we also wish to raise major concerns with regard to the sustainability of this building. While we raise specific queries in response to these plans, our concern and interest in appropriate and ambitious sustainability targets is applicable to development across the University more generally. We hope that this consultation will (a) facilitate clarification and (b) engender an ambitious response to the concerns below.
- No sustainability targets are mentioned in these plans. Such targets are key to ensuring any proposed measures to improve sustainability are maintained throughout construction. Are targets for energy and sustainability currently being considered for this building?
- How will these targets relate to recognised sustainable design standards, such as BREEAM, LEED or Living Building Challenge? The My Sustainable Campus webpages state “The University of Sheffield has committed to developing low carbon buildings, setting ourselves the ambitious target of BREEAM excellent as a minimum for all new capital projects ─ the most widely used environmental assessment for buildings.” Is that the case for this building?
- We recognise that some commonly used standards may not always reflect effective and innovative sustainable design, particularly in relation to energy. If EFM feels this is the case, will an alternative, ambitious target appropriate for such a flagship build (such as zero carbon) be set?
- What efforts have so far been made to include carbon positive design features? Is there potential (for example) to develop the use of carbon positive building materials such as timber?
- How has prominent research and expertise at the University of Sheffield, such as that in solar and other renewable technology, and in green roofing, been recognised and incorporated into this design? Could use of this expertise be developed further?
- We support the consideration of renewable energy solutions described in the plans, but would welcome clarification as to what these solutions are and how much they will contribute to the overall energy use of the building.
- Finally, in plans to improve traffic flow and pedestrian access in the Northumberland Road area, how have the needs of cyclists been considered?
Setting and meeting aspirational sustainability targets will enable this building to be forward-looking and competitive. We hope the Social Sciences Hub will reflect our leading research in sustainability and serve as a flagship for both the campus and the ethos of the University community.
We look forward to your response.
- Alasdair Cochrane, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics
- Andrew Merson, Undergraduate, Department of Mechanical Engineering
- Fionn Stevenson, Professor, HoD, School of Architecture
- Stephen Folkes, Undergraduate, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
- Nick Nuttgens, PhD Student, School of English
- Lenny Koh, Professor, Management School
- Hamish Cunningham, Professor, Department of Computer Science
- Aldous Everard, Business Development Manager, Sheffield Solar, Physics and Astronomy
- Matt Watson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography
- Adam Howard, MSc student, Centre for Alternative Technology/ University of East London
- Paul Jarman, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Biomedical Sciences
- Briony Norton, Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept Animal and Plant Sciences
- Philip Warren, Professor, Dept Animal and Plant Sciences
- Kiran Malhi-Bearn, Sustainability officer, Sheffield Student’s Union
- Liam Ratcliffe, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemistry
- Eleanor Absalom, Undergraduate, Department of Geography
- Christian Unger, Grantham Research Fellow, Faculty of Science
- Christopher Baines, Undergraduate, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
- Kathryn Aston, English Language Teacher, English Language Centre
- Melanie Hannah, Departmental Manager, Department of Biomedical Sciences
- Rachael Treharne, PhD Student, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
- Joe Hook, Undergraduate, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
- Lizzie Jewitt, Undergraduate, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences/ Department of Geography
- Juliet De Little, Undergraduate, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
- Gwen Welsh, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Geography
- Emily Vincent, Undergraduate, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
- Hayley Stevenson, Reader in Politics and International Relations, Department of Politics
- Holly Lawford-Smith, Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy
- Danial Sturge, Policy Assistant, Green Alliance and PhD Alumni, Mechanical Engineering
- Adam Picot, staff, English Language Teaching Centre
- Sian Morrey, staff, English Language Teaching Centre
- Joanna Sutcliffe, English tutor, English Language Teaching Centre
- Ruby Lee, undergraduate, Department of Philosophy
- Fiona Graham, PhD Student, Human Nutrition Unit
- Jenny Patient, Campaigns Worker, Sheffield Climate Alliance
- Jamie Gough, Senior lecturer, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
- Hannah Sewell, PhD student, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
- Monica Ortiz, PhD student, Department of Geography
- Richard Bradford, English Language Tutor, English Language Teaching Centre
- Megan Lewis, Business Development Manager, Sheffield Science Gateway
- Lauren Jones, Sheffield Climate Alliance committee member and National Campaign Against Climate Change steering committee member
- Sarah Boddy, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Biomedical Science
- Steve Jubb, PhD student, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
- Cilla Hollman, English Language Tutor, English Language Teaching Centre
- Michael Livingstone, PhD Student, Department of Landscape
- Fay Rodrigues, English Language Tutor, English Language Teaching Centre
- Deborah Cobbett, English Language Tutor, English Language Teaching Centre
- Richard Bradford, English Language Tutor, English Language Teaching Centre
- Sharon Oliver, Director of Engagement and Development, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health