The STEM Building

Top marks for sustainability

The University of Bradford’s new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) building is an inspirational learning space. The high-quality laboratory facilities will act as a training space for teachers of students of all ages, equipping them with the skills to inspire the next generation of scientists.

The University’s ambition to create a low-energy building was at the heart of the scheme. We resolved to take a ‘fabric first’ approach, working to the Passivhaus standard. This guideline lays down some challenging energy performance benchmarks, including 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 pascals (Building Regulations max 10), achieving a maximum space heating and cooling demand of less than 15 kWh/m² and hitting an A Rated EPC of 15.8 kgCO2/m³.

The success of the project relied on collaborative working, inventive design, ecological enhancements and the use of some innovative materials with low-embodied energy.


Possibly the UK’s most sustainable educational building.


STEM’s thermally efficient building shell minimises heat loss, eliminates thermal bridging and reduces the air leakage to a minimum. Consequently, the building achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Outstanding’, was certified AECB Silver Standard and adhered to Passivhaus standards. As the first to achieve all three accolades, it’s possibly the UK’s most sustainable educational building. As well as cementing the University’s relationship with the community, the project successfully demonstrates how a sustainable approach to education can be promoted and put into action.

Client:University of Bradford
Contractor:GB Building Solutions
Value:£1m
Service: Architecture
Sector: Learning