Erne Campus the People’s Choice in Passivhaus Trust Awards UK 2023

The People’s Choice accolade in the Passivhaus Trust Awards UK 2023 has been given to Erne Campus of South West College, designed by Hamilton Architects.

The £34m project was the overall winner out of 10 finalist projects across three categories thanks to a massive vote of confidence from Passivhaus Trust members, sectoral professionals and members of the public.

The awards recognise buildings which meet the highest standards of energy efficiency, comfort and sustainability. Judges for this year’s competition said the scale and complexity of projects had increased since the previous awards competition in 2021.

“We look for exceptional Passivhaus projects with monitoring date to prove how they are combating the cost of living crisis for occupants, striving towards zero carbon climate targets, and demonstrating solutions across several building typologies,” they said.

“We were impressed by Erne Campus because it acts as a living educational tool for students, as well as a demonstration of how the implementation of a net zero energy building can help break down barriers to the roll-out of such technologies across the UK.”

Hamilton Architects Partner Paul Millar presented details of the exemplar Enniskillen project to PT members at a hybrid event in London, alongside the project’s M&E consultant, Cormac Freehill of Bennett Freehill.

Paul said: “We are delighted with the award, of course, but the event also offered a wonderful opportunity to engage with fellow professionals who are as passionate as we are about sustainability, and to learn more about some fantastic low energy projects.

“Erne Campus stood out from the pack as the world’s first educational – and currently the largest – Passive House Premium rated building, and the first UK building to achieve both PHP and BREEAM Outstanding accreditations.

“It is recognised as one of 26 UN Centres of Excellence for High Performance Buildings around the globe and generates four times more energy than it uses, representing a 95% reduction in energy demand compared to the old campus complex.”

Mark Haslett, Partner-in-Charge of the project said: “Erne Campus is simply setting the bar for all public sector buildings at a time when international requirements to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint are becoming ever more stringent.

“Erne Campus is just one, albeit world-beating, example of the design work Hamilton Architects is doing in the field of energy efficiency and environmental performance. All such projects, big or small, make a tangible difference to the lives of their owners, their users and their community.”

Situated on a town centre site overlooking the River Erne, the iconic crescent-shaped, 8,0002m building accommodates 800 full-time and 2,000 part-time students, together with associated infrastructure and landscaping. 

Erne Campus has also won Project of the Year in the RICS Awards 2022; RICS Public Sector Project of the Year 2022; and BREEAM Public Sector Project – Design Stage Award 2021.

  • Erne Campus video link (YT)
  • More about our approach to energy conservation and sustainability in Passive House Premium magazine (link here)