William Gates Building, Cambridge

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William Gates Building
University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.jpg
General information
Status Complete
Address 15 JJ Thomson Avenue
Completed 2001
Cost £20 million
Owner University of Cambridge
Top floor 2
Awards and prizes Bronze Green Impact Award

The William Gates Building, or WGB, is a square building that houses the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, on the University's West Cambridge site in JJ Thomson Avenue south of the Madingley Road in Cambridge, England.[1][2][3] Construction on the building began in 1999 and was completed in 2001 at a cost of £20 million. Opened by Maurice Wilkes, it was named after William H. Gates Sr., the father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.[4] The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided 50% of the money for the building's construction.

Building features[edit]

The building has the following features:[citation needed]

  • The glass wall in the "fishbowl," a communal seating area in the building, is decorated with the source code of the original EDSAC program
  • The building's main thoroughfare has tiles that match the binary, UTF-8 representation of 'Computer Laboratory — AD 2001 — ☺'
  • The fishbowl contains the original door to the Mathematical laboratory[5]

Energy efficiency[edit]

The William Gates Building aims to be energy-efficient.[6] Its energy-saving measures include:[7]

  • Aggressive sleep scheduling of desktop computers.
  • Use of a chilled-beam convection-based cooling system, with Oventrop valves, to cool rooms in the summer, and warm the floor above in the winter.
  • Turning off lights in corridors, and the street, using motion-sensors.

See also[edit]


Coordinates: 52°12′39″N 0°05′31″E / 52.210925°N 0.092022°E / 52.210925; 0.092022 (William Gates Building, Cambridge)