Cranfield University, Bedfordshire

Actively saving energy and keeping the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in top condition at one of the UK’s foremost research facilities.


Air quality and energy efficiency: a matter of principle as well as practicality
When you’re delivering world-class research projects, a comfortable and consistent atmosphere in your working environment is critical. Under BAM’s five-year Facilities Management contract to maintain all the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) across Cranfield University’s many buildings, success means being effectively invisible.

And with energy efficiency a key concern, BAM is also supporting the University’s energy management team to measurably cut its consumption year on year. 

Project details

  • Customer: Cranfield University
  • Work started: May 2017
  • Contract Duration: 5 years

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260 Fact icon buildings covered by the contract
5% Fact icon year on year enery reductions targeted
Cranfield is the UK’s only exclusively post-graduate and research university, with a world-class reputation in science, engineering, technology and management. Dating back over 70 years (when it was first founded as the College of Aeronautics in 1946) the institution has grown and expanded, first on its original site in Bedfordshire and more recently with its academic partnership with the Defence Academy UK, at Shrivenham in Wiltshire.

The University’s heritage as a former RAF airbase is still evident – many of its buildings date back to when it was initially built around the end of the Second World War. But interspersed with mellow, traditional red-brick accommodation and teaching buildings are high-tech modern labs, libraries, research facilities, lecture halls and offices. 
Such a diversity of buildings presents a real challenge when it comes to managing the many systems that control heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. Maintaining the very tightly controlled environment in a high-spec cleanroom or a purpose-built wind tunnel – for example – requires specialist knowledge and a virtually instantaneous response if anything goes wrong. And that’s where the BAM team comes in. 

BAM is providing a dedicated, expert Facilities Management (FM) team on-site at Cranfield including specialist technicians, managers and a Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) co-ordinator, as well as an apprentice.

The team works hard to ensure that its work goes effectively unnoticed: as a building that is too cold, too hot, too humid or too stuffy would be a sign of failure.

Cranfield takes energy efficiency extremely seriously. All the University’s major refurbishments and new builds are constructed to meet BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standards, and a ‘zero carbon’ standard is being developed for all its buildings.

Less is more: the Carbon Brainprint

As a global leader in technology research, Cranfield uses its intellectual and technical advances to help numerous other organisations and individuals reduce their carbon footprints. The focus on universities helping to reduce carbon emissions is known as the ‘Carbon Brainprint’. Cranfield is a pioneer of this approach: so it really does have to practise what it teaches.

In terms of its own targets, the University’s energy management team is aiming to reduce its overall consumption by 5% year on year, and BAM’s energy manager is working closely with the client to implement a raft of energy reduction measures. 

In the spirit of everyone involved reducing their environmental impact, the BAM team itself uses electric vehicles around the campus, as part of its overall energy reduction strategy.


“We felt BAM offered the best solutions after giving a precise understanding of the tender documentation at their presentation.”

Kevin Drew

Mechanical Engineer, Cranfield University Facilities Department