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15.10.15

Camden’s Five Pancras Square bags best public building award

The Five Pancras Square building in Camden scooped an award for the best example of public sector construction yesterday (14 October).

The community building was recognised for its innovative use of space, which boasts an art leisure centre, a library and Camden Council offices. It can serve over 225,000 Camden residents and take in as many commuters who pass through the area.

The site is also one of the first inner-city buildings in the UK to receive a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ sustainability rating.

This is because 90% of all building material were responsibly sourced, and an energy efficient ventilation system and solar panels ensure low carbon emissions and reduced running costs.

It is estimated that the building can help the council make savings of around £500,000 per year in running costs.

Skills minister Nick Boles MP said: “Five Pancras Square shows how government and construction firms working together can deliver innovative, environmental and cost-effective buildings.”

The building was designed by Bennetts Associates, an architecture practice known to specialise in sustainable building design, making Five Pancras one of the greenest public buildings in the UK.

The accolade, Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award, forms part of the 2015 British Construction Industry Awards held at the Governor House Hotel in London.

The award seeks to recognise publicly-funded projects completed in time, on budget and spark change within their community. Previous winners include the Tate Modern and the Velodrome at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The news also follows new findings, revealed by PSE, that show public buildings have overtaken offices in terms of energy efficiency for the first time since research into this began in 2012.

Public sites were responsible for commissioning the largest proportion of energy efficiency projects during the second quarter of 2015 – most notably in terms of high-efficiency lighting, solar PVs and general building controls.

This was accompanied by a quarter where overall energy project commissioning was at one of its highest rates since the survey began, with around 80% of consumers having reported commissioning projects of this kind.

However, the survey also found that supplier confidence in the government’s management of energy efficiency hit an all-time low during the same quarter, primarily driven by a drop in confidence in the government’s management of energy policy.

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