Overbury's fit out for University College of Estate Management (UCEM) has been selected as a finalist in the Sustainable Project of the Year category of the 2017 Construction News Awards, making the shortlist from a record number of entrants.

University College of Estate Management (UCEM) has been recognised for its impressive efforts to create a sustainable place to work and study, following an announcement by Construction News that the building is among the finalists of a coveted sustainability award. The university celebrated a big move to the centre of Reading last year after Overbury completed an important six-month refurbishment project. 

After receiving ‘university college’ status in 2015, this move marked the next step in UCEM’s development – and further establishes its independence as the leading provider of online education for the Built Environment. The relocation also provided UCEM with the opportunity to showcase its commitment to sustainable construction, by refurbishing its new premises – christened Horizons – to the highest levels of sustainability. The property has been assessed and certified as ‘Excellent’ on the new BREEAM 'Refurbishment and Fit Out 2014' rating scale, earning one of the highest scores ever recorded in the UK - currently the highest in the education sector.

The sustainability measures UCEM incorporated into the existing 1980s building – with support from Overbury – include solar panels, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, low-power LED lighting, water control sensors, recycled waste, sparrow boxes, environmentally friendly VOC free paint, and even carpets harvested from discarded fishing nets, while future plans include beehives.

Before the winner is announced in July, all finalists will attend face-to-face judging by members of the 60-strong jury. Take a look at the full list of finalists on the awards website.

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