Borders College

Hawick Eco Room shortlisted for national architectural award

Opened in February of this year, the Eco room at the Hawick Campus of Borders College has been shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology – small to medium category’ of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) annual awards.

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

Assessment is based upon the innovative application of Architectural Technology against set criteria for each Award. Judges will look for robust and functional designs that are constructed economically, environmentally sustainably, and of durable performance.

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:

“The shortlisting of the project for the CIAT awards is a 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:

“The Eco Room 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.”

The winners will be announced at an online ceremony on 3rd December by TV presenter Matt Allwright.

Published: Thu 12th Nov, 2020