RIBA Stirling Prize Awarded To A Sustainably Designed Building

This year’s Stirling Prize was announced at a celebratory dinner at Manchester Central on Saturday 13 October 2012, hosted by BBC Radio 4 presenter Mark Lawson. The RIBA award is named after one of the professions greats, James Stirling, and it has become a catalyst for the regeneration of British architecture.

The Sainsbury Laboratory in the Botanic Gardens of Cambridge University won the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize.

From a sustainable design perspective it is interesting to note that this building has achieved a BREEAM excellent rating. BREEAM is an environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, which sets a standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation. It is a widely recognised measure of a building’s environmental performance.

This assessment method uses recognised measures of sustainable performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use, from a sustainable perspective.

The measures represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy and water use, the internal environment (health and well-being), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.

The designs flexible use of space aims to help the building adjust throughout the years, offering an economically sustainable future.  Other elements of the project’s sustainable features include its roof of 1000 square meters of photovoltaic panels, ceiling scoops ensuring best use of natural daylight and its rainwater collection system which irrigates the gardens.

Judges praised the calm beauty of the winner, designed by Stanton Williams Architects