Queen Margaret University - The greenest of greenfield sites

July 10, 2008

The Queen last week opened Scotland's first new campus in 40 years. Queen Margaret University has moved from a number of separate locations in Edinburgh to a single, £100 million site that is literally greenfield, since it is on former farmland near a small seaside town beyond the city. The university says that the campus will have the lowest carbon footprint of any UK higher education institution. Steve Scott, director of estates and facilities, said: "We wanted to have an efficient campus, and a lot of our sustainability is about low energy and low carbon. With utilities bills rocketing, low running costs make good common business sense." Among the innovative features on campus are a SUDS pond (sustainable urban draining system), which captures rainwater draining off roofs and paving, and a roof made out of layers of plastic sheeting blown apart by warm air. "That means improved natural lighting, but because there's natural ventilation, heat gain isn't a problem," Mr Scott said. "I think the campus is looking good, and we're entering the Times Higher Education sustainability award."

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