ORTUS learning and events centre

ORTUS is a stunning, multi-award-winning learning and events centre in Camberwell, south London, adjacent to the world-renowned Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital and King’s College London. It was named building project of the year (up to £10 million) in the 2014 British Construction Industry Awards and won a 2014 RIBA National Award.

The 1,550sqm building split over seven levels, is designed as an inspirational and flexible event and learning space, promoting mental health and well-being for all through networking, social media and Wi-Fi.

Striking architectural features and sustainable technologies underpin this meticulously-planned learning environment, which is open to all and houses teaching and conference facilities, a community café and exhibition spaces.

The building was conceived as a free-standing pavilion with multi-functional, connected spaces positioned at half-level intervals around a central atrium. The central space, optimised window design and floor level offsets allow abundant daylight while controlling solar gain.

Manual and automated natural ventilation, coupled with profiled soffit and exposed fair-faced concrete brickwork, maximise the effects of thermal mass. The primary thermal source is a closed loop ground source installation consisting of seven 120m vertical loops and a simultaneous heat/cool pump unit, partly powered by a roof-mounted PV array. An integrated KNX system controls HVAC and lighting.

The exceptional ORTUS project, for which Skelly & Couch undertook full mechanical, electrical and environmental design, is EPC ‘A’-rated. Skelly & Couch continues to assist social enterprise Maudsley Learning with the ‘Soft Landings’ process of energy monitoring and effective operation of the building, ensuring that ORTUS is able to adapt and remain at the cutting edge of innovation for decades to come.

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