Sustainability, health and wellbeing are fundamental drivers for the NQCC and have been central to the development of the design for the Centre. NQCC has ensured this is consistent and aligns with UKRI sustainability strategy.

Core to the design of the building, the following principles have enabled the NQCC building design to include specific areas of sustainability:


Sustainability has been an important priority for the design and construction of the building, with a key focus on the following guiding principles:

  • Achieving a BREEAM sustainability rating of ‘Excellent’​
  • Following the recognised energy strategy hierarchy of ‘Be Lean, Be Clean, Be Green’​
  • Minimising energy use and CO2 emissions through the incorporation of highly efficient building materials with a focus on lighting and ventilation
  • Maximising energy efficiency features and integrating low carbon energy​ through the use of air source heat pump and photovoltaic panels
  • A combustion free development to minimise the impact on local air quality​
  • Achieve a 40% reduction in regulated CO2 emissions, for example by constructing floors from cross-laminated timber sourced from sustainable forests rather than a traditional concrete floor
  • Ensure a combustion-free environment
  • Recycle at least 95% of all construction waste, for example by recycling all waste timber and reusing excavated material on other projects.

(Source: Hawkins Brown, NQCC RIBA Stage 3 Report, Feb 2021)

The building works are also generating opportunities for the local community by investing in jobs, skills development and local businesses, with the construction project expected to deliver social value benefit of £945,000 over its lifetime.