SWC's Erne campus awarded 'world’s first educational Passive House Premium rated building'

  • South West College has been awarded the Passive House Premium rating for its brand new £30m Erne campus in Enniskillen.

    The Passive House Institute in Germany has confirmed the new building is the world’s first educational, and currently the largest, Passive House Premium rated building. The 8,200 square-metre new build project is also the first building in the UK to achieve both Passive House Premium and BREEAM outstanding accreditations.

    Speaking after visiting the new campus, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “I am delighted to see the excellent progress made on this stunning new further education campus, which is an iconic new asset for South West College and the wider Enniskillen area. These accreditations represent achievement of the highest environmental standards in modern construction.

    “Achievement of these highest globally recognised environmental construction standards has undoubtedly been challenging however, it will deliver significant benefits for curriculum provision, and greatly reduce building management costs. It will also further demonstrate the college and my Department’s ongoing commitment to deliver a modern, economically-focused curriculum in new, world class, state-of-the-art facilities.”

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    The Minister added: “This type of project aligns with the aims of my energy strategy for Northern Ireland, which is open for public consultation until the end of June, as we drive towards a net zero carbon energy sector.”

    South West College Chief Executive, Michael McAlister, said: “From the earliest stages of planning, achieving sustainability and reaching the Passive House Premium standard has been central to the Erne Campus project. Achieving this accreditation is a significant milestone and one that we take great pride in.

    “Renewable energy and sustainability have been at the forefront of College delivery for several years, both in terms of the curriculum we offer to students and our own construction practices. The world-class Erne Campus will deliver a unique curriculum, education and a training programme specialising in renewable energy and sustainability in a live working environment. We hope that in this way we can also advance sustainability in construction across these islands and beyond.”

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    Designed by Hamilton Architects and constructed by local firm Tracey Brothers Limited, the four-storey campus is fully funded by the Department for the Economy and will accommodate in excess of 800 full-time students, 2000 part-time students and 120 staff when it opens in September 2021.

    Tomás O’Leary, Managing Director of MosArt Architects, who guided the project to achieve the Passive House standard said added: “The project sets a new standard for educational buildings across the globe in terms of energy efficiency, year-round comfort, and indoor air quality. It will act a beacon and a source of inspiration for building designers everywhere in delivering on much-needed dramatic reductions in carbon emissions from the built environment.

    “It has been a great honour for the MosArt team to guide this project towards what is without doubt the most demanding energy efficiency standard on the planet. Congratulations to everyone involved, especially the leadership team at South West College who had the vision to set out on this challenging road.”

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