Precision Livestock Facility

Client Askham Bryan College
Date 2021
Location York
Value £1,150,000
Design Team
Quantity Surveyor: Thornton Firkin
Structural Engineer: Adept
Mechanical & Electrical: Betton Consulting
Contractor: HACS Construction

The Institute of Technology at Askham Bryan College was developed as part of the Yorkshire & Humber consortium to increase higher-level technical skills for employers. The precision livestock facility includes a calf rearing building, a beef grower unit and a dedicated teaching and learning space for delivering courses on sustainable and high welfare farming practices. The new facilities will be used for degree-level study and training through University Centre Askham Bryan. High animal welfare and sustainable beef production are at the heart of the facility whilst highlighting a combined, fully digitised approach to rearing beef animals. Data captured will then be viewed and used within the separate teaching space allowing continuous and applied learning.

The series of livestock buildings are appropriately utilitarian in character and present a series of simple pitched roof forms with a number of idiosyncrasies that serve the function of their use. The architecture of the teaching facility references the pitched roof forms, with an asymmetrical structure and overhanging roof that covers the entrance to the building and provides solar shading to the main learning spaces. The project incorporates a natural ventilation strategy with louvred openings adjacent to the main windows and high-level rooflights, promoting cross ventilation throughout.

The building is designed to meet the sustainability standards of BREEAM “Very Good” and is a Net Zero building. A passive environmental strategy that incorporates green technologies has been implemented to create a development that has a lower embodied carbon and minimal operational energy demand.  

A natural materials palette has been selected to complement the forms and character of the surrounding agricultural buildings. The timber cladding mimics the boarding applied to the grower and livestock buildings, albeit with a higher quality of material and finish. The red brick and standing seam metal cladding relate to the other farm buildings and teaching facilities adjacent to the site.

The building fabric has been constructed of natural materials with a focus on reducing the embodied and operational carbon of the building. A spruce glulam frame forms the main structure, with the walls constructed of clay blocks and locally sourced handmade bricks. The building is partially insulated with sheep’s wool insulation and has the ceiling lined internally with exposed woodwool panels that provide enhanced acoustic insulation.