Velarium Sun Screen
Acoustic Partition in Debating Chamber

Education Project


Kingston University
Dannatt, Johnson Architects

Centre of Excellence

The Centre for Sustainable Communities Achieved through Integrated Professional Education (CSCAIPE) has been created from a bolted steel structure in a courtyard at the Penrhyn Road campus of Kingston University.


The Reading Room glass roof and roof lights to the debating chamber bring in maximum natural light. A series of cotton sun screens, the velaria, in the Reading Room prevent glare throughout the year whilst electrically operated blinds provide the same facility in the debating chamber.

Carbon Emissions

The roof lights open to provide fresh air and natural cooling through most of the year. A heat pump provides heating in the cold months and cooling at the height of the summer. The heat pump gives a lower carbon footprint for heating the building than using the existing boiler system.


Even though higher education establishments are exempt from the acoustic criteria for schools in Building Bulletin 93, the debating chamber and its movable dividing wall have been designed to achieve these levels of sound insulation

Metering and Energy Use

Individual metering of plant, small power, and lighting supplies allows electricity use to be monitored and analysed to prevent unnecessary use. Controls automatically switch off lights which have been left on, and adjust the light output according to daylight.