Borders College

Hawick Eco Room ‘highly commended’ at architectural awards

The Borders College Hawick campus Eco Room has been ‘highly commended’ at a recent architectural awards ceremony, hosted by presenter Matt Allwright.

Image of Borders College Hawick campus

The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) annual awards, which was live-streamed on YouTube, saw the building take the accolade in the Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology – Small to Medium category.

The room was described at the awards as having ‘good architectural design technology and design aspects, which result in a building that is simple in form and function and acts as a good testbed and education learning tool for environmental design and construction.’

Designed to recognise excellence in architectural technology globally, the awards were open to all professionals, whether they were based nationally or internationally.

Assessment was based upon the innovative application of Architectural Technology against set criteria for each award. Judges looked for robust and functional designs that are constructed economically, environmentally sustainably, and of durable performance, and the Hawick Eco Room clearly met the criteria.

The Eco Room is part of our STEM Hub, utilising a Passive House approach to ensure high-energy efficiency, making best use of new materials, super insulation, triple glazing and solar gain. Its Passive House design ensures airtightness and creates a space that is self-ventilating. Using footage recorded from all stages of the build, virtual reality enables learners to immerse themselves in each aspect of the build and lets them see how different materials are used to maximise efficiency.

Environmental monitoring and thermal imaging help to demonstrate how the methods used to build the Eco Room differ from more traditional structures. The principles of airtightness can be exhibited using an airtightness testing kit, and training can be provided on this to students and local businesses alike.

Architectural Technologist Stuart Davidson, who worked on the project, commented:

“To be ‘highly commended’ is great recognition for the client’s focus and commitment to creating a sustainable teaching facility. Our aim from the outset was to create a structure that was cutting edge, asked questions on buildability and renewable techniques.

“It fuses a number of specialist construction techniques such as “passive slab” floor, natural insulation and breathable membranes to create a building which will be able to be monitored and educate for the long term.”

CIAT is a dynamic, forward-thinking and inclusive global membership qualifying body for Architectural Technology, for those in the design and project management of building innovation.

Greg Steel, Head of Sustainable Construction at Borders College, said:

“We are delighted that the Eco Room has been ‘highly commended’ as it showcases the latest sustainable construction methods and demonstrates how we can build comfortable modern homes, and meet our zero-emissions targets. The Eco Room and the Sustainable Construction Hub will be pivotal in upskilling our local workforce to tackle the climate emergency challenges we face.”

Borders College was also 'highly commended' in the Essential Skills and Innovation categories at the recent College Development Network Awards. Read more here.

Published: Fri 4th Dec, 2020