A Scottish university’s efforts to create a sustainable campus by using cutting-edge technology has won it a Green Gown Award in a category sponsored by Jisc
University of the West of Scotland (UWS) triumphed in the campus of the future category for the redevelopment of its Lanarkshire site into what the award organisers described as “one of the UK’s most modern and inspiring learning environments”.
The two-year project, which required an investment of £110m, used emerging technologies to embrace the latest developments in teaching and learning in a shift away from traditional lecture layouts. The aim of the project was to provide staff and students with a flexible environment that is fit for today and for future generations.
The project put sustainability is its heart, along with a focus on health and wellbeing, appreciating that quality of learning is impacted by quality of the environment. is the buildings are powered by 100% renewable energy from a nearby windfarm and features rainwater harvesting technology, resulting in one of the greenest campuses in the UK.
Cutting-edge technology, such as mixed reality, is used in teaching, social and research spaces. These include the country’s most modern simulated hospital wards, where nursing and midwifery students learn, and a cutting-edge extreme environments laboratory, designed to replicate extremes of temperature, altitude and humidity.
The University of Worcester was highly commended in the same category for its redevelopment of the Art House to provide a facility for art and design students and community creative projects. The development is based around flexible open spaces that are fitted with intelligent lighting, user-controlled real-time energy management, heating, ventilation and cooling, which are improving the student experience and campus sustainability.
The other finalists in this category were:
Sam Thornton, senior co-design manager, who leads work on Jisc’s intelligent campus project, said:
“Yesterday’s Green Gown Awards provided an inspiring opportunity to see what sustainability excellence looks like in the UK. It was particularly encouraging to see nominees and winners from a really diverse range of institutions, with great engagement from both staff and students.
“A special mention must also go to the organisers, who did an excellent job of providing a more sustainable event than I thought possible, from the sourcing of the food to the table decorations and everything in between.”
Iain Patton, chief executive at the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) and co-host of the Green Gown Awards ceremony, said:
“The submissions this year were of an incredibly high calibre, tackling a huge array of sustainable development areas.”
He added that it was a privilege to work with UK institutions on “pioneering initiatives” that contribute to reaching the UK government’s target of reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 at the very latest.
This year’s UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards finalists represented more than a million students and 162,000 staff. Organised by EAUC - the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education, the awards ceremony was held in Glasgow on 26 November 2019.
Find out more about Jisc’s vision for Education 4.0 which embraces many of these trends.