Arcadis: Helping The North Reach Net Zero
Arcadis has been appointed by the University of Leeds to deliver its Net Zero Carbon programme and ambitions. Housing Industry Leaders investigates how the company will help Leeds reduce its carbon emissions.

The University of Leeds has set a goal to reach net zero carbon targets by 2030 and has secured significant capital investment to begin the journey of assessing existing operational energy associated with its existing needs. Arcadis will deliver programme management, project and commercial management services.

Developing and delivering a low-energy building strategy that is said to include potential building and building systems interventions to enable net zero is included in the programme.

In addition to this, the plan will include focuses on the key elements of electrification of heat and switching away from fossil fuels, procuring renewable electricity through a power purchase agreement and the introduction of energy efficiency measures across the estate.

Determining Which Interventions Are More Cost-effective Is Vital

Project Director at Arcadis, Ben Small, said: “We’re extremely proud to be supporting the University of Leeds in its goals to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to the UK and global efforts to reduce GHG emissions. The university has an extensive estate consisting of varied assets that rely heavily on gas and fossil fuels.

The project will make crucial steps in establishing which interventions are best deployed to efficiently support the move towards net zero carbon.

Arcadis, alongside the appointed technical teams, is currently modelling solutions which allow the University of Leeds to take a portfolio view across its estates to help prioritise investments due to the high cost and potentially disruptive nature of the interventions.

For example, it is said by the company that there are many metrics which can be used to determine which interventions are more cost-effective depending on the outcome sought like reducing the cost of energy used or reducing carbon emissions.

People Will Benefit From A Better Quality Built Environment

Head of Capital Development for the University of Leeds, Brian Ford, said: “Working in collaboration with academic colleagues and students – and with massive investment by the University – we are laying the groundwork for emissions reductions to achieve our target of net zero by 2030.

Interventions include targeted refurbishment of buildings and the installation of low-carbon technologies across the estate, and this work is already underway. Arcadis are a trusted supplier.

As the university undertakes its programme of deep retrofit works, the thermal comfort of its building stock will be improved. Therefore, it will reduce cold and draughts in the winter and will avoid overheating in the summer. Ultimately, this will help to improve the quality of the built environment for staff, students, and visitors.