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Middlesex University - Hatchcroft Building, Hendon

Middlesex University was formed from the merger of several educational establishments and over the past ten years has closed three of its campuses and focused its operation on its remaining London sites: Archway, Trent Park and Hendon.

During the course of a framework agreement, Rolton Group has worked closely with Middlesex University to provide a range of engineering services, during a period of change. We carried out the mechanical and electrical engineering for the university’s Hatchcroft Building and provided low carbon advice for a large new teaching block.

The Hatchcroft Building is located on the Hendon Campus. It is the first educational building in the Borough of Barnet to use renewable energy sources for winter heating, as well as to cool the building during the summer months.

Prior to development the site was composed of a number of contrasting structures. They included a number of run down out-buildings and garages, two semi-detached brick cottages, a twentieth-century single-storey brick building, a prefabricated two-storey unit and the original Hatchcroft building. All these buildings were demolished prior to construction of the new structure.

The site of this new low energy/low carbon building is bounded by four sides. There are university buildings to the north, 'The Boroughs' a main thoroughfare linking the A1 and A41 to the east, Hendon Grove gardens to the west and Barnet Town Hall to the south. The Hatchcroft Building establishes linkages between the existing university site and the new building.

In 2006, BPR Architects were commissioned by Middlesex University to design a new low energy/low carbon Science Building for the Hendon Campus. Rolton Group was appointed at the same time from Middlesex University’s Framework of Suppliers to provide low carbon design advice and mechanical and electrical building services engineering detailed design.

Hatchcroft was the second phase of a four-phase development programme to improve the university's teaching and research facilities at the Hendon Campus. The new building comprised part of a strategic academic plan to integrate a number of the University’s teaching and research activities in a single new purpose-built, low-energy, low-carbon structure. The research work was previously carried out from a variety of inefficient, poorly serviced buildings on the University’s Enfield campus. Teaching activities carried-out in the new Hatchcroft building include biomedical, psychology, computing science and sport science studies.

This £13 million building is arranged over three floors, with an overall size of 5,500 square metres. Inside there are two lecture theatres, one on the ground floor that seats 250 students and there is another on the first floor for 150 students. The building includes 60 bookable, adaptable and sustainable teaching spaces that will grow, shrink and be modified as the University’s prospectus changes to meet evolving demands.


There are two wings for teaching laboratories – wet labs are in the West wing and they house all biomedical academic teaching, while the dry labs are located in the East wing that faces The Burroughs. The dry labs house psychology, computing science and sport-related academic teaching.

Rolton Group modelled the building using computational fluid dynamics and thermal analysis option appraisal techniques. It incorporates a number of low energy and low carbon design strategies identified within the LZC Feasibility Study carried-out by Rolton Group. These strategies minimise the building’s CO2emissions. The buildings are estimated to emit 22% less CO2 than an equivalent 2006 Part L2A Building Regulations compliant building. Low energy and low carbon design strategies adopted include:

  • Closed loop ground source heat pump
  • Solar hot water panels
  • Gas-fired combined heat and power
  • Intelligent lighting control systems
  • Variable speed drives on fan and pump motors
  • Very high levels of building fabric thermal efficiency
  • Air tightness detailing
  • Thermal mass and night-time cooling

The ground source heat pump bore holes were installed 60 metres deep into the adjacent Grove Parkland ground, therefore protecting valuable green public open space amenity from future built development.

With these green initiatives, the building was assessed under BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) bespoke and achieved an 'Excellent' rating.


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