BREEAM Excellent award first for Bedford College

Monday 3 March 2014

The shining Brundtland Building on the Cauldwell Street campus of Bedford College has been recognised as a national eco beacon.

It is the first project of its kind in the UK to be awarded the BREEAM Excellent award.

The award is not just for the bricks and mortar which have been transformed into a showcase of low carbon and re-use options, but for the associated sharing of knowledge and expertise, as well as the building’s impact on local communities.

Bedford College Principal and CEO Ian Pryce CBE said: “This building proves that existing homes and offices can be converted to meet modern eco standards with the right attitude and application.

“It is a credit to our Sustainability and Estates teams who have shown the way and are now sharing that expertise with the construction industry here at Bedford College.”

Director of Sustainability Esin Esat said: “New buildings come with many energy saving features but it is our vast stock of older properties that need updating to save energy and reduce fuel bills. We are here to show how that can be done.”

The building, which is topped with a wind turbine, will be open to visitor tours as part of the Bedford College Sustainability Day on Wednesday March 5th.

This will include an explanation of the river water cooling system where water from the River Great Ouse is used as alternative to fuel-costly air conditioning.

The main Sustainability Day activities will be staged in the Springs sports hall of the riverside college campus and will include demonstrations of solar oven cooking, willow weaving, cycle-power, and much more. Schools, colleges and many organisations will be taking part and the public are welcome to attend.

For further information or to book a place on the Brundtland Building tour email Wallis Lord-Hart  (


Brundtland Building As part of the Sustainable Efficiency East (SEE) Project, the College has created a state-of-the-art low carbon demonstration centre: the Brundtland Building. The building has been developed as a resource to showcase the use of alternative energy technologies and energy efficient techniques in existing buildings. Guidance and support is provided to businesses, enabling them to maximise business opportunities in the emerging low carbon economic sectors. Technology demonstrations and a seminar/meeting space are also provided in the Brundtland Sustainability Centre to support local sustainable community and industry initiatives.

Sustainable Efficiency East (SEE)

The part European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)-funded SEE project was completed on 31 December 2012, having begun on 1 September 2009. The key purpose of the SEE project, which was led and developed by Bedford College, was to stimulate the growth of a low carbon, resource efficient economy across the eastern region.

The SEE project proved to be one of the highest performing ERDF projects in the region, with the Brundtland Building being its main lasting legacy, which will support low carbon economic developments for years to come.