State-of-the art teaching buildings at the University of Northampton’s new £330m Waterside Campus development have been designed utilising REHAU’s innovative TABS system, providing energy efficiency and low cost heating and cooling.
Construction work started in 2016 on the aspirational Waterside Campus, which will transform a 58-acre brownfield site along the River Nene into a hub for teaching and student accommodation, as well as leisure and retail facilities for the University
and wider community. The whole project is set to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating upon completion in 2018, so every aspect of the design plans has been carefully considered to ensure it adheres to the principles of sustainable design.
REHAU and its approved contractor partner AMROC were involved early on in the design process for Waterside’s Campus, recommending the Thermally Activated Building Structure (TABS) system. TABS is a versatile cooling and heating system which uses the large thermal mass of concrete in a building’s structure to adjust the environment inside the building throughout the day.
It does this by running heated or chilled water through a network of pipes embedded within the concrete slabs, and can be used in virtually any concrete structure. Although widely used in Europe and South Africa, TABS is less known in the UK but this is changing thanks to high profile installations for the Tate Modern and the University of Leicester.
Paul Stroud, from AMROC, said: “With the University keen to create a low carbon campus and incorporate cutting edge technology, TABS was the ideal choice for the teaching block in the Waterside development. The installation and running costs for
TABS are comparatively low and it offers a more comfortable, even heating and cooling of the teaching spaces with no draughts, like traditional air conditioning. This all adds up to a more pleasant learning environment, particularly in busy lecture