Project Description

A transformational new-build student accommodation building at Cambridge University. The building comprises of 72 bedrooms with class-leading accessibility features and excellent sustainability credentials. The building is fully Passivhaus certified with a strong contribution by the structural engineers to improving airtightness and energy efficiency.

Judge’s comments

A great example of a Passivhaus approach, centering around the use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and the airtightness benefits it can bring. This included the development of new details including glass fibre cladding brackets and decoupling the sub and super-structures to reduce thermal losses. The designers achieved significant reductions in the substructure embodied carbon using a piled raft foundation with no internal ground beams, reducing the concrete volume.

Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Smith and Wallwork

Client Name

  • Lucy Cavendish College


  • Cambridge, UK


  • R H Partnership Architects

Principal Contractor

  • SDC

Key Contractors

  • Max Fordham (Passivhaus Consultant and Pre-construction Stage MEP Design)

    Munro Building Services (Construction Stage MEP Design)

    Bidwells (Project Management)

    Richard Utting Associates LLP (Cost Management)

    KLH UK LIMITED (Specialist CLT Fabricator/Installer)

Year Submitted

  • 2023

Key attributes

  • Planet