Lancaster University

Lancaster University’s Eco-Residences have been awarded a Green Gown award which recognises exceptional initiatives by higher education institutions to become more sustainable.

Key Objectives of the Eco-Residences

In 2005 Lancaster University identified the need to create new build residences on campus that met four key objectives; environmental sustainability, reduced construction and rental costs, enhanced social space and improved design quality and specification.

Innovative Design

The design was inspired by research and development work into offsite manufactured, low-cost sustainable social housing. This was undertaken by Dr Avi Friedman, Professor of Architecture and Director of the Affordable Housing Programme at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. The new Eco-residences opened in 2008 to provide 752 rooms including one and two bedroom flats, in an environmentally-friendly home where students can monitor their utility consumption online.

Students can also enjoy the benefits of roof mounted solar thermal panels to preheat the hot water, lighting controlled by Passive Infra Red (PIR) units, enhanced air tightness and insulation levels.

By using timber sourced from sustainable, managed forests for the building’s superstructure, the carbon footprint was reduced by a third. Timber frames were also manufactured offsite in order to minimise waste.


The 2008 utility and derived carbon emissions data for the County townhouse Eco-residences indicated a 16% reduction in carbon emissions was achieved over the design specification of 1,147kg CO2/annum/student.


The Green Gown Award is the latest in a series of accolades for the pioneering Eco-Residences. Other awards include:

• Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) 2009 -Environmental Design Award
• North West Regional Construction Awards 2009 - Environmental Sustainability Award
• UK BREEAM Award winner in the Multi-Residential category 2008
• BREEAM Excellent rating for its high quality example of good environmental design
• Secured by Design award from the Association of Chief Police Officers for crime prevention features

Main Contact Name: Jonathan Mills, Environment and Sustainability Manager
Main Contact Email & Telephone: and 01524 592789
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