Recladding of the G.E. Fogg Building, Queen Mary University, London, United Kingdom
Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects

A striking transformation of a tired and uncomfortable academic building for Queen Mary University of London, extending the life of the building by over 35 years for a fraction of the cost of rebuild. The G.E.Fogg Building houses the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, one of the largest departments at Queen Mary University of London’s Mile End campus. Completed in March 2011, the seven storey, 7,000sqm building houses over 70 permanent staff and 1300 students. The building is predominantly dedicated to specialist teaching laboratories including labs which are used to conduct research into bio-hazards and toxins such as SARS and MRSA.

The building was uneconomic to heat and extreme solar glare meant it was hardly a suitable space for some of the world’s leading scientists. The concrete structure was corroded and the windows were leaking and redevelopment was not a feasible option. Instead, with the help of a Low Carbon Buildings Grant, a three-fold sustainable retrofit solution was developed to increase the insulation of the existing opaque walls; install new high performance glazing throughout; and to include monocrystalline PV cells on parts of the south and south-east facing elevations and on sloped roofs.

In delivering the £2.9m project, we overcame the logistical challenges of developing live laboratories and a building which bridges a public highway, installing 4,600sqm of rainscreen cladding and curtain walling across the complex building geometry.

The result is improved thermal comfort with solar gain reduced by 20%, significantly enhancing the working environment; a striking new identity, raising the profile of the department to attract new students, research and funding; as well as energy demand reduction of 70% and the generation of 2700kWh/pa renewable energy through PV cells in the facade, contributing to an annual CO2 reduction of 6.0kg/CO2/m2.

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