Studying and socialising in our nationally recognised building

estates_cockcroft_aw_048The recent, multi-million pound project transforming the Cockcroft building into a state-of-the-art research, teaching and information building has been recognised in the prestigious Green Gown Awards for 2016.

Our university and the architects we worked with Fraser Brown MacKenna were named Finalist in the Built Environment category for what was one of the largest retrofits of an occupied academic building in the UK.

The transformation was described by judges as “an innovative approach integrating architectural, building services and structure design” which unlocked the environmental potential of the 10,500m2 building using the latest technology.

Innovations include an aquifer thermal energy store, potentially reducing energy demand, CO2 emissions and fuel savings. The system stores and recovers thermal energy beneath the ground and provides heating and cooling.

A spokesperson for the awards told the university: “On behalf of the Green Gown Awards Team we wanted to congratulate you on your achievement. Being a Green Gown Awards Finalist is something to be extremely proud of.”

Earlier this year the Cockcroft project won in the Higher Education category of the Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards 2016. Judges called it a bold project and a model for future similar projects. Read More

£8m boost to green business growth in East Sussex

The University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform and East Sussex County Council are launching an £8m-plus initiative to support the growth of green businesses.

The Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) project is funded by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund and is a partnership between Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Thurrock Council and the University of Brighton. It will receive a total of £8.8 million to support business growth across Kent, Essex and East Sussex.

The programme will provide grants and business support to low carbon small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them grow and develop new products and services. It will also provide grants and free environmental audits to any type of SME to help improve their environmental performance, such as reducing energy costs or installing renewable energy systems.

The programme will also be providing support to the community energy sector, and will be developing renewable energy and low carbon projects across the county.
In East Sussex, the programme is open to SMEs which pay their business rates to Eastbourne Borough Council, Hastings Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Rother District Council and Wealden District Council.

Zoe Osmond, Director of the Green Growth Platform

Zoe Osmond, Director of the Green Growth Platform

Zoe Osmond, Director of the Green Growth Platform, said: “We are delighted to announce this funding for East Sussex businesses. It will make a significant contribution to business growth and innovation in the region, as well as help in reducing our environmental impact and moving us towards a low carbon economy.”

Businesses can find out more and register for the support by visiting the Green Growth Platform, emailing greengrowthplatform@brighton.ac.uk or calling the Green Growth Platform on 01273 641949.

Award winning paper

Congratulations to Yahya Ibraheem for winning the SEEDS 2016 Award for Contribution to the Built Environment” at the International SEEDS conference 2016 in Leeds this month.

Yahya won the award for his paper title “Integrated Façade System for office buildings in hot and arid climates: A comparative analysis”.

Yahya is studying for his PhD here at Brighton on the subject of integrated façade systems for highly to full glazed office buildings in hot and arid climates.

Well done Yahya!

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British Science Festival heads for Brighton

british-science-festival-logoOne of Europe’s leading and longest established science festivals is coming to Brighton next year. And we will be co-hosting it!

The University of Brighton will co-host the 2017 British Science Festival with the University of Sussex from 5-8 September.

The festival, organised by the British Science Association, will have a programme of over 100 events featuring cutting-edge science from world-leading academics covering everything from technology and engineering to social sciences.

Welcoming the announcement, Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris said: “I am delighted that the University of Brighton will be co-hosting the British Science Festival next year. We were keen to grasp this wonderful opportunity to showcase our world-leading research alongside cutting-edge science from around the globe in an accessible and engaging way.

“The city of Brighton & Hove is world-renowned for its Arts Festival. By hosting the British Science Festival, we can throw open the doors of our facilities to the wider community, including our new state-of-the-art Advanced Engineering Building that is currently under construction.”

We’ll keep you posted as more details are confirmed, and hope to see you all there!

University building scoops top award

The project to refurbish the University of Brighton’s iconic Cockcroft Building has won in the Higher Education category of the prestigious Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards 2016.

The Cockcroft Building on the University’s Moulsecoomb campus has been a familiar landmark on Brighton’s Lewes Road since the 1960’s.

The awards jury said: “This is a bold project, particularly from a sustainability point of view – and a model for future similar projects. It focuses well on how people use the building. The exterior has been elegantly improved and the interior creatively revamped.”


Welcoming the award, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris said: “This is really excellent news and I congratulate the team involved in this major project. The refurbishment of the Cockcroft Building is an important part of our ongoing investment programme which aims to ensure that our students have access to world-class facilities.”

The multi-million pound refurbishment programme, which took three years to complete, was carried out whilst the building was still being used by staff and students and included:
• Development of state-of-the-art new learning laboratories and office spaces to house schools within the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences
• Installation of new windows to improve insulation throughout the building
• Exposing the ceiling space to highlight the architectural features of the building’s interior
• Opening up corridors in the building to improve lighting, people movement and provide social and informal learning spaces for students and staff to use.
• Reducing noise levels by putting in place sound buffering and dampening features
• Installing a new roof surface to improve insulation and energy efficiency.

Do you need some help with job hunting?

Student Services are offering their annual ’Transform Your Life’ two day graduate employability course.
‘Transform Your Life’ 2 day University of Brighton graduate employability course

Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 June 2016
This course is particularly suited to any final year students or graduates who may be finding the next stage of their career rather challenging.

It includes:
* confidence boosting activities
* applications/CVs
* online presence
* presenting yourself well at interview (including practice interviews)

Find out more about the course, including how to book a place, here.

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Ponies at the Pier

Luke Sandys-Renton, who is studying for his BA(Hons) in Project Management for Construction, is involved in a University of Brighton first – a university polo team.

Along with the team, including captain Dede Jevans who is studying International Business, Luke and the team rode along Brighton seafront yesterday (7 June) to celebrate the polo team’s first year of competition – and raised more than a few eyebrows among beach bathers.

Luke said: “We have had a great year and I wanted to end it with a really exciting photo, as a momento for all the team members and supporters.

“Since October when I started the team, we have seen 25-plus people participate through the year, across all riding abilities. We have the attitude that the most important thing about the team is its accessibility and making everyone feel welcome when they participate whether this is competitively or just for fun.”

The team is taking part in this weekend’s (10-12 June) National Universities Championship at Dallas Burston Polo Club near Leamington Spa, along with 50 other universities. It is renting the ponies with help from the university’s Springboard Grants Programme which provides awards of up to £2,000 to Students’ Union-recognised societies and university sports clubs and teams to help fund activities that enrich and enhance the student experience. The programme has been established through the generosity of alumni and friends of the university.

Luke said: “The Springboard team have been fantastic and a massive help to us. The programme makes the student experience and the time we spend at the university the best it can possibly be – and we are externally grateful to the alumni and friends who make this possible.”

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) talk at Brighton

Come along to the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) talk at our university to find out more about the feasibility, design and construction of one of the world’s leading superyacht custom build and repair yards, Pendennis Shipyard (PSY).

Based in the docks in Falmouth PSY employ over 350 staff. The new wet basin and dock will enable PSY to hold back the tide and service lift-out and fit-out of Yachts next to the existing facility. The works comprise the design and construction of a new 7,000m2 wet basin / dry dock formed out to sea using 200m of 7m wide mass concrete “fingers“ constructed within sheet-pile cells.

Speakers will be Geoff Austen – Clients Representative for Pendennis Shipyard (Pebbles Consultancy) Jon Orrell – Designer (Hemsley Orrell Partnership) Clive Thomas – Construction Manager (Raymond Brown Construction)

The talk is on Thursday 19th May 2016, in Room G2 Mithras House, Moulscoomb Campus. Please arrive from 17:30 for a 18:00 start.