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Centre of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME)

Centre of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME)


CEME is a dynamic hub of education, enterprise and manufacture. It is situated in the Thames Gateway sub-region, the largest brownfield development area in London and also the most deprived and largest area of growth and regeneration in the UK. The Centre was set up as a not-for-profit partnership between Barking College, Havering College, Ford Motor Company, London Development Agency and Heart of Thames Gateway, to cater to local people of all ages and stages of vocational development.
It offers a range of vocational services from basic courses to post graduate degrees and hi-tech business incubation. The 1200 students using these services will benefit from a stunning new facility wrapping round a landscaped lake and outdoor amphitheatre, and incorporating the largest solar array of its kind in Greater London. Identified by Sheppard Robson as being key to the development’s success, energy, habitat and waste issues have been addressed both in terms of its construction and while in use, and the campus was voted ‘Best Design-led Regeneration Project’ at the 2004 Regeneration Awards.

Building details

Type of building: Education Establishment: Further and Higher Education Facilities incorporating classrooms, lecture theatres, workshops and associated offices.
Year of construction/ Floor area/ Operating hours: Year: 2004 / floor area: 16.253 m² Operating hours: Monday – Friday, 8.00 to 21.30.
Heating and cooling / measures installed Natural Ventilation
Under floor heating to ‘Street’ area
Displacement ventilation and heating to teaching spine


Aim To create an unparalleled teaching and learning environment at the heart of the largest regeneration area in Europe – The Thames Gateway.

To provide the first purpose built campus in the country providing a ‘one stop shop’ high tech teaching and learning environment.

Key points Sheppard Robson’s integrated approach to design focuses on the needs of the end users. Their focus is on rigorous attention to detail, the insistence on the raising of design to the top of the agenda, the clear understanding of clients’ key operational and business issues and the belief that good design is a holistic process involving form, function and place.
Reason for inclusion as Shining Example The project has made a significant impact on the surrounding area and acted as a catalyst for the Thames Gateway regeneration initiative.

Key to this development’s success was the incorporation of sustainable elements from the construction process - using local suppliers to reduce traffic and fuel consumption and the use of materials to the context of the site - to creating an environment to attract habitation - by creating a landscaped lake and the incorporation of photovoltaics to provide an integrated roof solution to the canopy and the street.

The 115 kW output is the largest array of its kind in the UK and contributes 15% of the site electricity requirements. Rainwater recycling reduces consumption of potable water (and the energy required to process it). Low energy lighting/controls, natural ventilation, and low level air displacement with heat recovery reduce energy demand.


Costs &


Investment in the project has come from a unique partnership of public and private sector partners including the Ford Motor Company, the London Development Agency, Barking and Havering Colleges, the European Regional Development Fund, the DTI and the Single Regeneration Fund.
Benefits Energy and/ or water efficiency

Largest integrated photovoltaic roof array by output in UK on completion. Rainwater recycling reduces consumption of potable water. Natural ventilation to the street and workshop areas, together with low level air displacement with heat recovery and daylight sensitive lighting controls further reduce the energy requirements of the building.

The contribution of these state-of-the-art energy saving initiatives is expected to save around 25% of CEME’s annual utility bill.

Specification of ‘green’ materials

Restaurant drum cladding and brise soleil constructed from a sustainable source of western red cedar. Internally, the carpet is 100% recyclable.

Waste minimisation

Constructed by CCS contractor using British Research Establishment (BRE) SmartWaste procedures. Comprehensive strategy for building in use to reduce land fill waste.

Bio-diversity/ improving natural habitat

Designed in consultation with Environment Agency to improve habitat for water voles, newts etc. ‘Balancing’ lake with attenuation from hard landscape areas.

Re-use of brownfield site

Classic brownfield development- with limited commercial value in previous state (former Ford waste dumping ground), now catalyst for socio-economic regeneration of area.

Minimising traffic/ use of car

Green travel plan incorporating cycle network and 24 month subsidised public transport to discourage habitual use of private vehicles.

Developing projects that create jobs, improve the local community and/ or help the local community

Local suppliers/contractors supported local economy and reduced transport/ carbon emissions. CEME has created employment for over 30 local people plus staff from colleges.


Partnership details Investment in the project has come from a unique partnership of public and private sector partners including the Ford Motor Company, the London Development Agency, Barking and Havering Colleges, the European Regional Development Fund, the DTI and the Single Regeneration Fund.

- Ford
- Barking College
- Havering College
- London Riverside
- LtdLondon Development Agency

- Cisco Systems
- Microsoft
- Learning & Skills Council
- Higher Education Funding Council
- Greater London Authority
- Business Innovation Centre
- Gateway to Industry
- AbilityNet
- Loughborough University
- Murrelektronik
- Murrplastik
- Rockwell
- Bosch Rexroth
- Iquentis Ltd.

Funding bodies
- Ford Motor Company
- European Regional Development Fund
- Single Regeneration Budget
- Department of Trade & Industry
- Learning & Skills Council
- Barking & Havering Colleges
- London Development Agency
- New Technology Institute
- Innovative Clusters Fund


Achievements Mayor of London - Ken Livingstone

“a leading institution in its field, (which) will benefit London students with a range of high quality technical employers and encourage business investment in the area. This is a vital landmark in securing a successful and sustainable economic environment in the Dagenham region”

British Prime Minister - Tony Blair

"CEME is not just vital for the region but of huge importance to the nation as a whole.

”CEME was voted ‘Best Design-led Regeneration Project’ at the 2004 Regeneration Awards.

Lessons Learned In addition to the actual measures integrated within the development, the application of sustainability principles spanning the entire life cycle of the development is a feature easily replicable in other new buildings - including schools and other multiple-use facilities.

To know more



Sheppard Robson CEME
Contact Liz Earwaker, Mike Harvey
Phone 020 7504 1700, 020 8596 5400


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