SCI-Network - Sustainable Construction @ Innovation through Procurement

SCI Network - SCI-Network - Sustainable Construction @ Innovation through Procurement

Communicating ambition for "The Hive", UK

The Hive is a new build collaboration between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council. Opened in July 2012, this is a unique building with high sustainability targets, which were all clearly defined at the project’s inception.  A comprehensive 160 page Detailed Design Statement (DDS) shared with potential bidders prior to pre-qualification communicated the critical elements of the building’s sustainability and performance aspirations. 

This document also detailed assessment methodologies including various national benchmarks and tools for sustainability such as BREEAM’s water use calculator.  The project was developed as a PFI contract (Private Finance Initiative – a form of PPP). Targets were clearly defined and ongoing negotiation through the PFI Competitive Dialogue process allowed bidders to see and share the vision from the outset and contribute to the development of the building by putting forward solutions before the real design work took place.

An ambitious CO2 emissions target of 15.8 kgCO2/m2 was outlined in the DDS and targets such as this became Key performance Indicators in the operating contract. Galliford Try, the PFI contractor, is legally bound to meet these targets or risk financial penalty.

The building makes innovative use of water – housing the County’s invaluable historic archive means that parts of the building must be strictly temperature controlled all year round, which demands a lot of energy. however with the River Severn only around 300m from the site the DDS encouraged potential bidders to consider this resource. This has resulted in a solution that utilises river water in the summer to cool the building and in winter some heat is drawn from the river to enhance underfloor heating. This collaboratively developed measure is a major contributor in achieving the building’s exceptionally low CO2 output.

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