Praise for college's eco learning room
The Borders College STEM Hub Eco Room, based in Hawick, has been shortlisted as one of the finalists at this year’s Herald Property Awards for Scotland 2021 in the ‘Commercial Project of the Year’ category.
The awards are one of the most prestigious events within the property sector and
celebrates the amazing work carried out by businesses throughout Scotland.
The fantastic recognition comes after the Eco Room was ‘highly commended’ at The
Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) annual awards in December 2020,
where it was described as having ‘good architectural design technology and design aspects.’
Robert Hewitt, Facilities Manager at Borders College commented:
“We are delighted that the Eco Room has been shortlisted for the Herald Property Awards,
as it showcases the latest sustainable construction methods and demonstrates how we can
build comfortable modern homes, and meet our zero-emissions targets.
“The Eco Room and the Sustainable Construction Hub will be pivotal in upskilling our local
workforce to tackle the climate emergency challenges we face.”
This year’s virtual event will take place on Thursday 30th September and will be hosted by
Des Clarke, regarded as one of the most exciting performers in the UK and widely regarded
as the trusted voice of radio comedy in Scotland.
The event will take place in the ‘Awards Room’, which is an exciting and interactive venue
that brings together the presenters, sponsors and guests in a unique and engaging awards
experience that allows everyone to connect.
The Eco Room is part of the STEM Hub, utilising a Passive House approach to ensure high-
energy efficiency, making the best use of new materials, super insulation, triple glazing and
solar gain. Its Passive House design ensures airtightness and creates a space that is self-
ventilating. Using footage recorded from all stages of the build, virtual reality enables
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learners to immerse themselves in each aspect of the build and lets them see how different
materials are used to maximise efficiency.
Environmental monitoring and thermal imaging help to demonstrate how the methods used
to build the Eco Room differ from more traditional structures. The principles of airtightness
can be exhibited using an airtightness testing kit, and training can be provided on this to
students and local businesses alike.
Stuart Davidson of Stuart Davidson Architecture, who worked on the project, commented:
“To be shortlisted for the award is great recognition for the client’s focus and commitment
to creating a sustainable teaching facility. Our aim from the outset was to create a structure
that was cutting edge, asked questions on buildability and renewable techniques.
“It fuses a number of specialist construction techniques such as “passive slab” floor, natural
insulation and breathable membranes to create a building which will be able to be
monitored and educate for the long term.”