Cambridge Central Mosque
Special Award for Sustainability
Sponsored by Derwent London
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
As a religious building that emphasises spiritual belief in humanity’s role as a humble and responsible custodian of creation, the mosque has been designed with a minimal carbon footprint, and with no emissions on site in use.
Timber was chosen as the principal material for the building structure, because trees absorb and encapsulate CO2 as they grow, they have low embodied energy and are a renewable resource. The timber is sustainably sourced Spruce from central Europe.
Energy use will be minimised by using mixed mode systems – static heating and natural ventilation, supplemented by displacement cool air supply at times of high occupancy or high heat gains and natural light supplemented by low energy LED artificial lighting. The building is part powered by photovoltaic panels. Air source heat pumps are used for underfloor heating/cooling which also includes an innovative system of direct hot water heating via buffer tanks. Given that the grid electricity becomes increasingly less carbon intensive, the overall footprint will reduce year on year.
All public spaces are naturally lit throughout daylight hours. The tall rooflight reveal minimises direct solar radiation, reducing glare and overheating, meaning artificial cooling is not required. The glazed southern façade is protected from solar gains by an overhanging portico roof, which also allows lower winter sun to passively heat the space in colder months.
The Prayer Hall, Atrium, Cafe and Teaching spaces are all naturally ventilated. Intake vents at low level and extract vents in the rooflight upstands operate automatically, linked to CO2 and temperature sensors. The large double height spaces drive natural stack ventilation effect. The building envelope includes 30% improvement on Part L U- values and 60% improvement on air leakage rates. Sedum roofs reduce water run-off and enhance biodiversity.
Plant species were chosen that are indigenous or happily grow in the UK and which are also friendly to insects and pollinators. Swift boxes are provided within the parapet crenellations.
Overheating was tested against 2030 and 2050 weather files including CFD simulations. The space gets hotter but there is more air movement therefore comfort should be maintained. The drainage and attenuation system is designed for a 100 year storm plus 30%.
Cambridge Mosque Trust
Marks Barfield Architects
Price & Myers
Skelly & Couch
Faithful & Gould
Emma Clark with Urquhart & Hunt
Professor Keith Critchlow
Approved Building Control Inspector
Smith & Wallwork
Primary Use Class
Class D1h - Public Worship