Approval granted for Fife College to progress with first net-zero college building
Fife College has been given the green light to progress to the next stage of its project to deliver the first net zero tertiary education building in Scotland from the Scottish Government.
Having submitted the business case for the new Dunfermline campus in August, when Balfour Beatty was appointed to construct the facility, Scottish ministers agreed to invest up to £100 million in providing a low carbon, modern, flexible learning space for students.
Within the £100m funding, additional money has been made available by the Scottish Government to ensure that the project goes beyond net zero targets and doesn’t just offset carbon dioxide emissions, but continues to deliver reductions in operational carbon after completion.
Low embodied carbon construction materials will be specified for the project and will include materials with high recycled content. Waste will be minimised through the design process and there will be a strong focus on diverting as much of the construction waste from landfill as possible.
These steps will help deliver the Scottish Government’s target for transforming buildings and the systems that supply their heat to ensure a transition to net zero emissions by 2045, in line with the Climate Change Act 2019.
Principal of Fife College, Dr Hugh Hall, said: “We’re incredibly ambitious about what we want to achieve with this new campus.
“Not only do we want it to provide world-class facilities for our students, but we want the building itself to reflect the latest developments in low carbon construction.
“That’s why we’ve worked with the Scottish Government to go beyond Net Zero and ensure that our new campus has a long-term positive effect on emissions.
“The extra funding we’ve received will enable us to achieve our environmental ambitions, and to deliver the first tertiary education building in the UK that meets these standards.
“The approval of our business case is a significant milestone in the project to deliver the new Dunfermline Learning Campus, and we’re eager to get started.”
The campus will host the College’s delivery of sports, science, built environment, creative industries, care, business enterprise & tourism and will reflect a collaborative approach to learning, with an emphasis on engagement with business and innovation.
The aim is to create an innovative learning campus that provides a streamlined pathway for students from school through to further and higher education, as well as providing state of the art facilities to meet the learning and training needs of businesses and the wider community.
Chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, Karen Watt, said: “We are delighted to support the plans for the new Fife College on the Dunfermline Learning Campus.
“They are ambitious and ground-breaking, designed to enhance the experience of students and to meet stretching environmental performance standards as we move to becoming a net zero nation. We will be working closely with all partners to bring this ambition to life.”
Working with Balfour Beatty, Fife College will target net zero carbon from its construction operations by minimising energy use and maximising renewable energy sources through:
- Low carbon EcoNet site setup and on-site energy generation;
- Maximising electric and hybrid plant;
- Minimising carbon impact in delivery methodologies;
- Conducting Biodiversity Net Gain analysis through internal ecology function to predict biodiversity loss or gain caused by the project as designed, and potential areas where it can be improved.
The college will also be working with a number of other firms to deliver the project including Gardiner Theobald (project management), Reiach and Hall (architects), Horner & Maclennan (landscape architects), Atelier 10 (mechanical and electrical) and Woolgar Hunter (civils and structures).
The build is part of the wider 58-acre Dunfermline Learning Campus site in the eastern expansion area of Dunfermline - an innovative, integrated and collaborative venture to relocate Fife College’s Dunfermline Campus, St Columba’s RC High School and Woodmill High School to a purpose-built new site, due to open in the Summer of 2024.