SOAS University of London

Green Energy

SOAS Energy Projects

Here is a flavour of some of the projects that have been implemented. Some of these are being financed using interest free loans from Salix which is an arm of the Carbon Trust.

SOAS Energy Procurement

We have set up a flexible energy procurement contract with other Bloomsbury Colleges to ensure that the best value for energy is obtained.

Any electricity not produced by our own energy efficient CHP plant is purchased from renewable sources. See our renewable energy certificates here -

Solar SOAS

The Solar SOAS Community Energy Project, created and maintained by the Students' Union, successfully installed an array of 114 panels on top of the Old Building roof 2016. They generate an estimated 24,000kWh/year! Find out more here -

College Window Replacement

The old single glazed windows were draughty and did not close properly. These were replaced within the limits of listed building requirements with new double glazed units and this has led to a 20% reduction of heating energy for the building and has improved the comfort conditions for building users.

LED lighting

LED lighting is currently the most energy efficient lighting available and has lower maintenance needs. This considerably reduces hazardous waste associated with the older florescent tube fittings. We have retrofitted them to several areas of the estate including the communal areas of the Faber building, the library terraces and the corridors and teaching rooms in the Brunei gallery and these are now specified for all refurbishment projects.

Lighting controls

The majority of our teaching rooms, toilets and all recently refurbished areas are fitted with lighting controls which ensure lighting is not on when it is not required. This includes daylight adjusting fittings and absence detection. The external lighting is now controlled by our building management system which switches the lighting on depending on the external light levels.

Library ventilation plant

The ventilation plant serving all floors of the library has been replaced with new modern units which adjust according to the quality of the air in the spaces and also incorporates heat recovery to reduce energy consumption. The controls for this system can use the roof windows in summer to provide natural ventilation which allows the extract fans to be switched off under set conditions and also helps to cool the library overnight in the summer months.

Khalili Lecture Theatre

The air conditioning plant for the lecture theatre has been replaced with a modern system that connects into the chilled water network and also allows heat recovery in the winter and air quality sensors to match the air volumes with the occupancy of the theatre.

Brunei Gallery

We replaced two old chiller units for the air conditioning system with a brand new highly energy efficient chiller and upgraded controls and other items of plant to improve the efficiency and energy rating of this building.

Philips Building Heating Controls

This was a major project to introduce zoning of the building to improve comfort and reduce energy consumption by taking into account things such as solar gain and differing occupancy times. This has led to a 50% reduction in heating energy.

Voltage Optimisation

As part of the electrical infrastructure renewal, we installed a voltage optimisation unit for the Brunei Gallery and College building which helped to reduce electricity consumption by 7-9%. A second unit was then installed the Philips building.

Russell Square and Vernon Square buildings

These buildings have been fitted with building management systems to control the heating and improve conditions. The original controls had failed and these buildings were overheating and operating when not required.

Main Campus Hot Water Heat Recovery

This project is realising significant carbon and cost savings as we now utilise low grade heat from the CHP engines (which was being discharged into the atmosphere) to preheat the cold water feed to the hot water system. This improved the operation of the CHP engines and allowed us to turn off the other plant which was being used to support the CHP system.

Senate House North Block

The refurbishment of the North Block saw saving in terms of carbon coming from the replacement of the old electric heating system with a new radiator system which will eventually connect onto the Bloomsbury District heating system.

In additon, innovative ventilation design has reduced the need for air conditioning especially during the summer monts. LED lightning, a new building management system, and rainwater harvesting has also contributed to a low carbon infrastructure.

Brunei Gallery Boilers

The boilers in the Brunei Gallery are being replaced with modern more efficient units which will also provide heat to the North Block and this will enable the Brunei Gallery to connect onto the Bloomsbury heat and power network in the future and allow the boilers to help power this.

Philips Building Windows

These are currently being looked into for replacement. The Philips building is covered by over 60 % of glass so upgrading the windows to double or triple glazing will reduce heat loss. In addition, the glass used will help to reduce heat gains in summer and provide a more comfortable environment.

Bloomsbury Heat and Power

The existing Combined Heat and Power engines and the boilers will all be upgraded and expanded in the next few years. This will enable the Bloomsbury campus to generate more electricity on site and substantially cut carbon emissions. In the meantime, we are looking at upgrading the gas supply to site to enable use to stop using oil in the boilers. This will reduce carbon emissions on the existing scheme.

Future Projects

We have a number of projects that are either about to happen or are in the pipeline to take place in the few years.

Please contact Robert Courtney (Directorate Administrator) in Estates & Facilities / 020 7898 4804 for further information.