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Sustainable Investment in the Outdoors

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

University of West England Estates team appointed Upcircle to design the courtyards of the University campus, taking in consideration that the studio respects the principles of sustainability and the circular economy on every project they embark on.

Sustainable investment in the outdoors
Case Study

Resources were efficiently used, materials and waste were recycled and value was crated in collaboration with other organisations. To reduce waste, UWE undertook initial intense cleaning, designed supplementary elements with reclaimed wood and selected new sustainable furniture.

UWE’s intention was to transform and revitalise areas that were barely used and to revive some key spaces around the campus. The challenge was to complete the works with a tight schedule at an affordable cost.

Sustainable smart solutions:

Upcycled scaffolding planks have been used to make new furniture. Bristol wood recycling Project is a social enterprise that has saved almost four and half thousand tons of wood from decaying in landfill. The organisation works to benefit the community and the environment, transforming waste into shared assets through an inclusive volunteering program. For more information, please visit:


Staying healthy is an UWE project to encourage a healthy and balanced diet. Students and staff can engage with this initiative by using planters on courtyards for growing herbs, vegetables and flowers. Gardening has proven to reduce stress and therefore increase well-being.

Windows and floor manifestations

Contrasting colours and bold shapes were used to brighten up the open spaces. The window and floor manifestation designs and colours were chosen with the objective of unifying the visual identity of different areas within the campus.

Recycled inclusive furniture

A selection of recycled plastic, steel hot-dip galvanised and bespoke furniture was used. All designed for a long-term durability. Strategically chosen original designs, using thoughtful and unique materials to bring colour and to revive the spaces. The seats have different heights to make it comfortable and accessible to a variety of users.

The renovation of the Frenchay courtyards took place in August 2018 transformed the outdoor areas into inspiring spaces for students and staff. The lively colours and planters help to improve the well-being of the university community.

The result of this project has been well received by the University Marketing team which has reported that the areas that previously were not been used, are now packed with students sitting outdoors and enjoying the campus.


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