UCL Pearl

PEARL, the Person Environment Activity Research Laboratory, is University College London‘s (UCL) first net-zero carbon in-use building. This new and unique research facility for the creation of full-sized environments will test how people use infrastructure and cities, with the goal of improving urban design, for a more accessible and sustainable future.

PEARL’s objective is to improve the built environment and the way we interact with it. Life-sized environments, such as a railway station, high street, or a town square for example, will be built under controlled conditions to examine how people of all abilities interact with their urban environment and each other.

Built on a former brownfield site the building is more of a film set rather than a warehouse. The long span roof trusses are designed to support numerous lights and acoustic curtains so that different conditions and environments can be created.

The teaching space and breakout spaces are formed from CLT load bearing walls and floors. The CLT ‘box’ is built within the main building and can be removed or altered in the future.

Fairhurst value engineering the foundation solution from the proposed piled foundations to traditional pad foundations. This saved time and costs to a very tight programme.



Net-Zero Project of the Year Award

Building Awards, 2022


Regional (London)

RIBA Awards, 2023

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