The University of Cambridge with Cambridge Water have been recognised at the 2016 Waterwise UK Water Efficiency Award in the Built Environment Category for the scheme at the North West Cambridge Development.

The award commends the efficiencies that the water management system of the North West Cambridge Development will make through the country’s largest water recycling system on site.

Rain and surface water from the site will be collected in a series of specially designed lakes and naturally filtered through reed beds within the development, creating a public realm which raises awareness to residents about water as a natural resource. The water will then be re-filtered and treated, before being used for non-potable water uses in homes. When water recycling technologies are used in conjunction with high efficiency water fittings, such as aerated showerheads, taps and water efficient appliances, the development should reduce average potable water consumption down to 80 litres per person per day, almost half of the UK average (150 lpd) through the substitution of non-potable water for potable water.    

Combining sustainable drainage with sustainable supply in a region which is water stressed, this agreement between the University and Cambridge Water is a vital part in delivering the development’s Sustainable Urban Drainage System, that will enable the University to meet its ambitious sustainability targets including Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and BREEAM Excellent. 

Brian Nearney, Commercial Director of the North West Cambridge Development said: “The water management system on site will provide environmental, economic and societal benefits. Through working in partnership with Cambridge Water and AECOM as sustainability advisors, the University is creating a long-term asset to the area and the region and we hope it will be a fantastic example and inspiration of water sustainability for other developments nationally and internationally.”

Phil Newland, Managing Director for Cambridge Water, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the University of Cambridge in this innovative and highly sustainable development which fully embraces the need to conserve water.

Phase One of the North West Cambridge Development is underway and there will be phased completions in late 2016 into 2017 of the University and private market housing, and community facilities. The Primary School was the first building to open in September 2015.