Elm House, School for Business and Law

£29 million




University of Brighton


Gilbert Ash









  • Engineering services design
  • BIM deliverables
  • BREEAM compliance
  • Thermal modelling
About Elm House, School for Business and Law

Troup Bywaters + Anders (TB+A) were appointed by the University of Brighton (UoB) to complete engineering design and sustainability services for the redevelopment of the Moulscoomb campus.

The phased strategic masterplan is targeted at re-shaping the site to deliver an accessible, welcoming learning space. Central to this was the development of the new Business and Law building, Elm House. 

Elm House itself, is a striking building, wrapped in an award-winning vail of bespoke ceramic tiles allowing for views both throughout the building and to form a brise soleil. The frame was formed of in-situ concrete with five occupied levels surrounding a double height atrium with glazed roof, and cantilevered slabs with exposed concrete. The structure generated a series of large public internal spaces across the levels including Spanish steps, and spaces for lectures, group meetings and performances.

The clients brief was developed to stage 3 and set out the deliverables such as BREEAM Excellent and BIM execution with environmental and asset targets identified.

We were then appointed by the construction team to develop the Client brief from stage 3 to stage 4a.      This was carried out through a collaborative approach in line with the BIM Execution plan, meeting PAS 1192-2/3. This included services and building coordination to LOD4/5, LOI4. Routine clash detection workshops were utilised to review the federated models with asset data  schedules developed as the design advanced.

TB+A also carried out extensive thermal modelling of the building for occupancy comfort conditions and solar gains through the ceramic vail.  Many of the rooms and spaces were served using the atrium as the central air return monitored based upon CO2 and temperature sensors in each occupied space.

Specific services utilised to meet the buildings high performance requirements included:

  • Large roof mounted PV array
  • Roof mounted central AHU serving various areas utilising heat recovery and sensor control linked to CAV and VAV control boxes.
  • Life safety smoke extract systems serving the main atrium and escape routes
  • Life safety generator
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Fully addressable fire alarm system
  • PAVA systems
  • Lightning protection system
  • Access control
  • VRV comfort cooling systems
  • Hybrid natural ventilation systems controlled based upon CO2 and room temperature
  • High efficiency LED lighting with extensive solar and occupancy detection
  • Extensive metering strategy.
  • Remote monitored BMS and metering of all services.
“We have a good working relationship with Troup Bywaters + Anders and have partnered on a number of projects together in the past. We have always found them to be professional in their approach, a good partner to work in collaboration with and a business which delivers a high-quality finish. Their work on the School of Business And Law in Brighton was no different. The new School of Business and Law provides a modern environment for learning and will serve the university for generations to come.”
Rodney Coalter
Gilbert-Ash, Project Director