Bragg Tribute

Construction milestone around the corner for the Sir William Henry Bragg Building

As we move ever closer to the completion of the construction of the Sir William Henry Bragg building we spoke to Estates Senior Project Manager David Oldroyd to find out about the next steps for the project.

For additional information about the project why not read the FAQ’s for the Sir William Henry Bragg Building.

When does construction complete?

We’re really pleased to confirm that construction is due to be complete in February 2021, approximately in four months’ time.

That’s not long, what will be happening in the last phase of construction?

Your right, it will be upon us before we know it. At the moment the project Contractor BAM, is focusing on the key aspects which are the ongoing installation of lab furniture, laying of soft floor finishes and the final decorations in addition to completing other smaller aspects of the construction programme. The last four weeks of construction will be commissioning of services only and by Christmas, all physical works involving tradesmen will be complete.

What can we expect following construction?

Following the completion of building construction the next phase is called fit out, hook-up and migration.

This phase involves the practical elements of installing fixtures and fittings and specialist connections inside to enable equipment from the current labs and buildings to be moved over/ migrated into the new building. It is envisaged that this process will take approximately six months. During this time we will also be installing furniture and completing the AV installations in the building.

Sounds great, and when can we expect staff to move into the building?

Our plans for general staff moving into the building will occur after the summer teaching term completes in 2021 but more precise details will follow nearer the time.

In the current climate, the safety of our staff and students remains a priority so we will seek to move staff in when it is effectively safe to do so next year in controlled phases of work.

Where can we find out more about the project?

We post regular updates about the project on the campus development website. You can visit it to see progress photos of the building, both internal and external. We also have an FAQ’s section which covers everything from what happens after construction to specific information relevant to the staff that will be moving into the building.

We are also keen to hear from colleagues who may have additional comments or questions. Please contact us at campusdevelopment@leeds.ac.uk.

An international student checking in at Charles Morris with a mask on

Creating a safe and secure environment for our students

Estates and Facilities have been working with colleagues across the University to create a safe and secure environment ready to welcome our current and new students back.

Maintaining a safe environment

Cleaning Services are delivering their comprehensive Cleaning Plan as part of buildings reopening. The team are carrying out a thorough clean of campus facilities in line with the senior management plan of building opening schedules. Cleaning methods, equipment, cleaning and sanitising products are being investigated and reviewed where necessary to facilitate any changes required for the future, Public Health England guidelines and industry best practice are all being taken into consideration in decision making.

Re-designing for social distancing

A team of project managers from the Design Team are supporting the re-opening of buildings, from re-designing the internal layout to meet social distancing guidelines, to supporting Schools and Faculties in correctly interpreting the health and safety guidance when re-opening the buildings.

Ensure the safety of everyone on campus

Since the lockdown started Security Services have continued to provide a 24/7 presence on campus. To ensure the safety of those staff  and students  still working or in residences, they are deploying  more high visibility patrols around University property.

Continuing to develop campus

Whilst a high percentage of campus development projects remain on hold for the indefinite future, the team have been trying to mobilise projects based on contracts and urgency of completion.  This includes the Clothworkers refurbishment and plans to progress the completion of Levels 4 and 9 of the Faculty of Biological Sciences refurbishment. Several asbestos works to buildings across campus have been completed to all the plantrooms across campus.

All staff and contractors are strictly adhering to Public Health England/Government guidelines on Covid 19.

Communicating new safety measures

The FD Marketing and Communications team have worked with colleagues from across the University and an external agency ClearHead to communicate to students and staff the measures our services have put in place to ensure their safety. As well as how you can help us keep everyone safe.

Safety on campus

Relaxed, safe accommodation at the University of Leeds

Still from the Esther Simpson time-lapse camera of August's progress

The Esther Simpson Building: progress so far

The latest updates from the Esther Simpson Building project

Since the last project update in June there has been major progress at The Esther Simpson Building project on Cloberry Street.

Recent update from BAM Construction:

  • We have completed forming the basement structure and poured all the higher slabs.  We have only the remaining ground floor slab to install on site under the lecture theatre.
  • Now the Upper Floors have been cast we are able to start installing the main roof for the new building.  Materials will be brought in a lifted up using the site crane to allow the works to progress.
  • We have had built 203 pre-cast panels with windows for the envelope of the building.  Some of these weigh up to 8 tonnes and is the reason we have such a large crane on site.  They will be hoisted into position and bolted to the side of the building.
  • The panels are progressing around the building as we continue to enclose the building
  • Works ongoing to form the main roof to the building working from the Southern side (Substation) towards North side (Cloberry Street)
  • The installation of the 3rd floor Curtain Wall which forms a band of glass around the top floor of the building will commence soon.
  • Works will begin to install the plasterboard walls internally.
  • Works are now underway installing PV to the top of Newlyn Building roof.  We are also undertaking works still within the Storm Jameson plantroom.
  • Landscape works will commence on the corner of Woodsley Road & Clarendon Road next to Charles Thackrah Building.

Time-lapse

Maurice Keyworth refurbishment project

Virtual Open Day

The University of Leeds will be hosting its first virtual open day over two weeks from 29 June.

The open day is a great way for prospective students to get a sense of our beautiful campus and see the fantastic learning and teaching spaces we have. Estates and Facilities have always supported the running of the open days by ensuring the campus is looking its absolute best and that all buildings are open ready for visitors. However, since the event is now a virtual open day we thought we could help showcase our incredible study spaces.

Refurbished spaces

The Design Office create inspiring and engaging study space for students to work in a variety of different ways. The spaces are divided into zones using furniture solutions that encourage collaborative group work as well as quiet areas for individual study and contemplation.

We’ve recently completed a number of refurbishment projects including:

 

New building projects

As well as refurbishing current spaces we also have a number of on-going and future projects that will transform the student experience at the University of Leeds.

Sir William Henry Bragg Building

Set to open its doors to students in 2021, the new building represents a significant investment by the University in a new integrated campus for Engineering and Physical Sciences. The facility will include first-class laboratory and specialised teaching spaces, enabling cutting-edge research, and outstanding student experience, whilst enhancing the University’s research power and strengthening collaboration with industry.

Watch a fly-through of the Sir William Henry Bragg Building

The Esther Simpson Building

Phase three of a multi-million-pound project to develop new Leeds University Business School and School of Law buildings. It will be a new central teaching space for all to use and will provide technology-rich, flexible teaching spaces, lecture theatres, and trading rooms, further advancing the delivery of world-class teaching solutions.

Watch a fly-through of the Esther Simpson Building

 

 

Brownlee Centre

A trial to use nature to reduce flood risk launches at Leeds Brownlee Triathlon Centre

A trial to use nature to reduce flood risk gets on its marks at Leeds Brownlee Triathlon Centre

A trial is being launched by the Environment Agency and the University of Leeds at the Brownlee Triathlon Centre to look at how nature can be used to help reduce flood risk.

This will be the first urban pilot site set up as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme’s natural flood management (NFM) project.

It is being launched at the centre, owned by the University of Leeds, to inspire students and the Leeds community to test how natural solutions such as creating wetlands can be used to help reduce the risk of flooding along the River Aire and in Leeds.

The site will be used to showcase many innovative ways to deliver NFM which will be used for academic research and help to develop practical ways to monitor different techniques and gather evidence on their success.

Five pilot sites have been set up as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme using techniques such as woodland creation, wetland scrapes and leaky barriers.

Holly Radcliffe Leeds NFM project manager from the Environment Agency, said:

“We are very grateful to the University of Leeds for working with us to develop a pilot site at the Brownlee Triathlon Centre to trial and test natural flood management.

“The Triathlon Centre is a real asset for students and the local community, and are excited to work further with them to develop suitable designs for the site.  “We hope that visitors will also be able to learn about how effective NFM techniques can be.

“As the country faces a national and global climate emergency, restoring our natural environment is an important component to help reach net zero emissions in the future.

“Natural Flood Management offers potential for climate mitigation, for example, creating wetlands, restoring our uplands and planting trees can help to capture tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

James Wright, from grounds and gardens team at The University of Leeds, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the Environment Agency on a natural flood management project at the Brownlee Centre.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase the huge benefits of working with natural process to Leeds Community and academic partners across the university.”

Brownlee Centre with the bridge across the track

The site earmarked for the project is at Bodington Playing Fields to the north east of Leeds city centre. The Brownlee Triathalon site earmarked for the project is to the north east of Leeds city centre.

Proposals for the site currently include:-

  • Woodland creation – planting almost 4,000 trees and hedges at various locations across the site
  • Measures to improve the management of the flow of surface water including grass covered earth bund -embankments which act as flood barriers to store water and pocket wetland – to be formed from series of wetland scrapes (shallow ponds) to control storm-water
  • An interactive information board to educate visitors about the benefits of each type of NFM and monitoring taking place on the site
  • A teaching area for groups, for example a two-tier grass covered amphitheatre, formed as an earth bund, an NFM measure and benches made from wood from various tree species on site
  • Demonstration areas featuring how to build your own leaky dam, the life-cycle of a tree and a sand pit where you can re-meander a straightened water channel
  • A discovery walk featuring sculptures, nature base art, activities, wildlife spotting, edible hedges and a sensory trail
  • Creation of a virtual tour of the site using 360 degree photographs

This pilot site will be part of the flagship Natural Flood Management (NFM) programme which forms part of the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme alongside traditional engineering. The development of the scheme is being led by Leeds City Council, working alongside the Environment Agency. This phase got underway this year and aims to invest £112.1 million in flood prevention measures for areas upstream of Leeds city centre, to better protect 1,048 homes and 474 businesses.

The NFM element is transformational in scale working with nature to reduce the risk of flooding across the catchment from the source of the River Aire, at Malham, through to Leeds City Centre. The programme will not only reduce flow of water from upstream so the landscape can hold more water in times of flood but also restore and create new habitat, increase biodiversity resilience and improve water quality. As well as tree and hedge planting, it includes re-channelling rivers to their natural courses, soil aeration, wetland creation and moorland restoration all of which have lots of benefits for people and wildlife. This will contribute to delivering the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and realising the vision of the Northern Forest in the Aire catchment.

For more information about the LeedsFAS visit www.leeds.gov.uk/fas

 

Photograph of the green space behind Leeds University Union

Grounds and Gardens – An essential service

While many of us continue to work from home there remains a core of essential workers who are maintaining campus for when we return, including the Grounds and Gardens team.

Campus gardeners

The campus based team have been busy ensuring the external estate does not become overgrown and unmanaged during lockdown.  The work has included mowing the lawns, weed control, watering of the new planting that was undertaken by the team prior to lockdown.

Photograph of the flower beds outside Baines Wing

Moving forward the Grounds and Gardens team will shortly be removing the annual bedding, unfortunately due to supply issues we will not be able to plant up the Baines Wing this summer, but the team have already placed the order for autumn delivery with Leeds City Councils Nursery at the Arium.

Sports Park Weetwood

The team at Weetwood have completed the essential annual pitch renovation programme.  In normal circumstances this work usually commences in early April with the final pitch usually renovated in late June.  This year the team have successfully procured grass seed that is 100% UK grown from farms in Hampshire & Suffolk.  The team have been able to make the most of the natural rainfall available and good growing conditions.

Sports Park Weetwood pitch

Handy gang

The Estates handy gang team have been busy since lockdown providing support to the NHS. This has included the delivery of beds and furniture items to LGI and St James University Hospital from a storage facility on campus.

The team worked successfully with colleagues in Health & Safety, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Leeds Institute for Cardiovascular And Metabolic Medicine to ensure the safe delivery of a Cat 2 hood from the Light Building to the Old Medical School to facilitate Covid-19 research.

During all times staff have been following social distancing guidelines where work has involved staff members working together.

A big thank you goes to the team for all their hard work during this uncertain time.

Cloth Hall Court

We’ve extended our portfolio

The University has extended it’s portfolio by acquiring a new city centre conference and meeting venue, Cloth Hall Court.

Cloth Hall Court has a very well established reputation as one of the best conference and meeting venues in Leeds. Offering a range of spaces including an impressive reception, multiple seminar rooms and break out areas, and ideally located in the heart of Leeds city centre opposite the train station, Cloth Hall Court will enable the University’s MEETin LEEDS team to provide an entirely new platform for meeting and conference organisers.

Breakout space in Cloth Hall Court

Dennis Hopper, Director of Campus Development, commented: “The University of Leeds’ conference team pride themselves on high levels of customer service, putting customers at the heart of what they do, and Cloth Hall Court will complement our existing venue portfolio as well as helping to forge new links between the University, the City and our business partners. We are looking forward to working with existing and new customers.”

 

Great Hall

Missing campus?

If you’re missing campus as much as we are, check out the galleries below.

Thank you to the Director of Estates, Steve Gilley, who has captured these beautiful shots of campus during the University shutdown. The majority of students and staff may not be there but campus is still full of life.

Campus wildlife

Campus in bloom

Iconic buildings

Brotherton West

Spotlight: The Design Office

Delivering spaces across campus that support the University strategy

We’ve pulled together a gallery of some of our favourite shots from the Estates Design Office’s recent projects including the refurbishment of study spaces in the Maurice Keyworth building, The Language Centre building project, the refurbishment of the School of Language teaching spaces at Lyddon Terrace and the refurbishment of Brotherton West.

The Design Office is not only responsible for refurbishing existing teaching space but also new buildings on campus such as Nexus. Nexus is a high profile gateway to research and innovation at the University and a UK-leading environment for collaboration and partnership.

A photograph of Esther Simpson

The Esther Simpson Building

The latest phase of the LUBS and School of Law Expansion project will pay tribute to the University of Leeds graduate, Esther Simpson.

Esther Simpson, who graduated from Leeds in 1924 with first class honours in French with German, spent nearly all her working life as secretary to the Academic Assistance Council (later, the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning – SPSL). She was awarded the OBE in 1956; the French Government made her Officier d’Académie; and after her retirement in 1966, she received two honorary doctorates, including one from Leeds in 1989.

In honour of her career, this new building is now officially called The Esther Simpson Building. It will be a new central teaching space for all to use and will provide technology-rich, flexible teaching spaces, lecture theatres, and trading rooms. Work began at the Lyddon Terrace site in Winter 2019 and is due to be completed in 2021.

Watch a fly-through of the Esther Simpson Building.