South West College’s Erne Campus wins prestigious sustainability award

South West College’s new Erne Campus has recently been announced as the winner of the Public Sector Project Design Stage Award at the prestigious BREEAM Awards 2021.

The £30million campus, fully funded by the Department for the Economy, is due to open its doors to students in September and was the only building on the island of Ireland to make the shortlist for this year’s awards. 

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is an assessment undertaken by independent licensed assessors using scientifically-based sustainability metrics and indices which cover a range of environmental issues. Its categories evaluate energy and water use, health and wellbeing, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes. The Erne project has achieved the top rated BREEAM Outstanding certification which places the building in the top 1% of approved buildings.

The BREEAM Awards celebrate international projects and organisations that, in the view of the independent judging panel, are leading the way with significant achievements in sustainable building design, development and management. The BREEAM judges praised the Erne Campus for its efforts in combining sustainability with well-being features whilst targeting a zero-carbon building rating.  

The prize was announced during an online ceremony hosted by BRE Head of Building Performance Services, Shamir Ghumra and included a keynote speech from Sadie Morgan, Director of dRMM Architects. 

Congratulating the College on their award Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “I am delighted that this stunning Further Education campus, which will shortly become an iconic new asset for South West College and the wider Enniskillen area, has achieved such a prestigious international sustainability award. The award demonstrates my Department’s commitment to supporting delivery of modern, accessible and sustainable facilities. I am very much looking forward to visiting this fantastic building when it is officially launched later this year.”

Reflecting on the award, Michael McAlister, South West College Chief Executive said: “The BREEAM principles and achieving BREEAM certification has informed the design process of the Erne Campus project from its inception right through to completion of this remarkable building. Achieving this award is a significant milestone and one that we will take great pride in.

“The award recognises not only the work of the South West College team and the support from the Department for the Economy but alsoour dedicated design and construction partners who have worked tirelessly over the past number of years to bring our vision to life despite the significant challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic. 

“The Erne Campus will be the most sustainable building in the education sector in the world and we look forward to welcoming students through the campus doors this September. We hope this is the first of many accolades for the campus.”