01 / Further Education

Specialists in designing building services for the further education sector.

Designing building services for further education requires a specific set of skills and knowledge. Education buildings, such as colleges and universities, have unique requirements that must be taken into account during the design process. These buildings must be designed to support a learning environment, and building services play a critical role in achieving this goal.

02 / Humancentric Design

Improving focus and wellbeing through innovative design

As a specialist designer in the Education sector, DSSR has a strong understanding of how the design of education facilities can significantly impact the focus and well-being of students and staff. Innovative designs should consider the environment holistically, from biophilia to noise reduction measures, to create an environment that is conducive to learning.

Adequate ventilation, lighting, and temperature control are also essential for creating a comfortable and healthy learning environment. Providing access to outdoor spaces, such as green spaces or courtyards, can also promote physical activity and provide a break from indoor learning environments.

This can be achieved by incorporating natural elements such as plants and daylight, which have been shown to improve mood, reduce stress levels, and enhance cognitive function. In addition, providing a variety of spaces for different activities, such as quiet study areas and collaborative workspaces, can support different learning styles and help students stay engaged.

DSSR understands that a well-designed educational building can improve focus and well-being, contributing to better academic performance, lower stress levels, and greater overall satisfaction for students and staff alike.

03 / Decarbonising Education

Net Zero Carbon Solutions

DSSR specialises in demystifying the concepts behind Net Carbon Zero, planning the route to decarbonisation, and helping our clients to meet the necessary technical challenges in adapting to current environmental standards.

The energy used in the operation of existing buildings represents the most significant carbon impact from the built environment, contributing 30% of the UK’s total emissions. Following Passivhaus principles, we provide expert guidance to help our clients reach Operational Net Zero carbon.

The ongoing decarbonisation of the power grid makes the use of electricity as the main fuel source the obvious first choice. For many further education projects, DSSR advocates the use of heat pump technology due to their potential high efficiency in generating heat. For many projects, it is also possible to utilise a mix of air source and ground source heat pumps to generate heat with the careful selection of thermal storage, helping to minimize the size of these systems by load levelling.

04 / Healthy Buildings

Creating study spaces which promote wellbeing and comfort

One of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a focus on the importance of designing ‘healthy buildings’. DSSR has long been an advocate of designing healthy buildings, creating spaces that prioritise the well-being and comfort of their occupants.

The design of such buildings must consider factors such as indoor air quality, temperature and humidity control, natural light, acoustics, and access to nature. To achieve this, we work with architects and building design teams to incorporate features such as air filtration systems, efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, natural ventilation, and access to outdoor spaces such as gardens or courtyards.

DSSR advocates the use of sustainable materials and construction methods, which can improve indoor air quality and reduce exposure to harmful chemicals. Other design features such as noise reduction measures, comfortable furnishings, and ergonomic workspaces can also contribute to creating a comfortable and healthy environment for building occupants.

05 / Listed Building Experience

Experience working within listed buildings

DSSR has a depth of experience in working on historic building projects. One of DSSR’s first projects was for the historic University of Glasgow campus. DSSR was later selected as the M&E Engineers for a unique commission on the House for an Art Lover, based on the original designs by Charles Rennie McIntosh in 1901.

Refurbishing listed buildings presents a unique set of challenges, requiring specialised expertise and insight that can only be gained through experience. As these buildings are often historically significant, architecturally valuable, and culturally important, they are commonly subject to stringent regulations and restrictions.

One of the main challenges is to strike a balance between preserving the building’s original character and functionality and modernizing it to meet contemporary standards. Another challenge is the availability of materials and techniques that match the building’s original construction, which may no longer be in use.

By working with DSSR, an experienced design partner, our clients can navigate the unique challenges inherent in working within listed buildings, helping them to avoid time-consuming and costly complications such as unexpected discoveries during the renovation process which can add further complexity to the project.

06 / Case Studies

Relevant Case Studies

Below is a selection of case studies demonstrating our experience and expertise within the Further Education sector:

07 / Sector Lead

Stuart Brand

Regional Director

Stuart brings a wealth of experience from his long-standing involvement in the design of Educational Buildings. With his specialisms in the electrical design field, he brings innovative solutions for lighting and IM&T that enhance the learning experience.

07 / Sector Lead

James Walford

Regional Director

James has significant experience in the design of higher education facilities across both College and University campuses. Ensuring that the environment promotes the learning experience for the staff and students is a key focus. This coupled with creating a low-energy usage building is his key passions when developing the designs.

08 / Contact

Let's talk. Please don't hesitate to contact any of our offices.