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The ECRP started by focusing on five pilot buildings, chosen from the most energy-intensive sites in the University estate:


Department of Chemistry

Carbon emissions associated with the Department of Chemistry represent approximately 10% of total University emissions. It is the University’s largest single consumer of electricity and gas.

ECRP activities within the Department include:

  • An LED lighting upgrade (see this case study)
  • Air flow management in fume cupboards (see this case study)
  • Efficiency improvements to the building’s air exhaust system, through the installation of a weather-responsive system
  • Development and replacement of drying cabinets with more efficient models.

Department of Engineering: Baker and Inglis buildings

Engineering is the largest Department in the University and needs a significant amount of energy to meet its operational and research requirements. As the Department continues to expand, the challenge will be to manage its activities within a reduced carbon footprint whilst ensuring that any carbon management activities do not impact negatively on its academic strategies.

ECRP activities within the Department include:

  • Installation of a solar photovoltaic 'energy roof' (see case study)
  • The use of evaporative cooling in server rooms
  • The installation of lighting and air conditioning unit controls
  • The installation of energy display monitors around the Department to support behavioural change

The Gurdon Institute

The Wellcome/CRUK Gurdon Institute is the third most carbon-intensive building in the University. The Department have been particularly successful in implementing highly effective behavioural change initiatives.Their success can be attributed to a well-designed and sustained behavioural change campaign, involving clear and consistent communication with staff, including the use of real-time energy display monitors.

View a case study of the Gurdon Institute's achievements so far


Department of Plant Sciences: Plant Growth Facility

This Department of Plant Sciences has the highest carbon intensity in the University due to its research facilities for plant growth, which involve the use of intensive lighting. Funded by the ECRP, the Facility is trialing the use of LED lights in its plant growth chambers, in place of fluorescent tubes.

Read our case study: 'LEDs in Plant Growth'.


The University Library

The University Library (UL) is one of the world's most important repositories of the recorded word, sitting at the heart of academic life at Cambridge. It is one of six legal deposit libraries in the United Kingdom and, in terms of floor area, is one of the largest single buildings on the University's estate.

Some of the archives require close environmental control which may require a significant amount of energy.

ECRP activities within the UL include:

  • Replacement and consoldation of the library's chillers, improvements to the Building Management System and installation of a desiccant dehumidifier (see this case study)
  • Staff and user engagement initiatives, directed through a focused departmental Green Impact team