The Nigel Bertram Centre at the National Pig Centre

University opens National Pig Centre in Yorkshire

Precision nutrition and 24-hour monitoring will enable scientists to provide new insights for the pig industry, as the University of Leeds opens the National Pig Centre.

Scientists from a range of disciplines at the University will use new state-of-the-art facilities to help improve the sustainability and efficiency of pig production.

Supported by more than £11 million investment, the facilities make Yorkshire one of the best places in Europe for pig research.

The National Pig Centre will be a leading research facility for pig nutrition, behaviour, health and production system research – all themes identified by the livestock industry as central to improving quality, productivity and future competitiveness.

Professor Lisa Collins, academic lead for the PigSustain project and Head of the University of Leeds’ School of Biology, said: “This new centre allows us to expand our work to improve the welfare of pigs, and the sustainability of the British pig industry.

“Our aim is to lower the environmental footprint of pig farming whilst ensuring that high welfare standards are maintained.”

Ribbon being cut at the opening of the National Pig Centre

The new centre will benefit from academic expertise drawn from across a range of disciplines including nutrition, health, behaviour and fertility, as well as computer vision, engineering, soil and water sciences, data analytics, and atmospheric and climate science.

It has been launched in partnership with CIEL (Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock). CIEL has invested £4.5 million with funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency.

The investment includes a three-fold increase in the previous capacity of the farm, from 200 to 660 sows, – ensuring the research carried out better represents commercial pig farming. Of these, 220 will live outdoors.

The combination of an outdoor sow unit with an indoor system is unique in Europe, enabling direct comparison of the different rearing systems.

Academics will work to identify the key factors contributing to pig farming’s environmental footprint, and attempt to find alternatives that could drive down the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Their findings will help the UK achieve the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) target of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the whole of agriculture in England and Wales by 2040.

The centre’s indoor facility includes the ability to perform in-depth, automated nutrition trials to understand how best to feed and manage pigs at all stages of production. By harnessing precision nutrition, based on individual requirements, the aim is to reduce the cost of production, improve feed efficiency and reduce the environment impact of pig farming.

Researchers will also be able to make feed recommendations which keep pace with ongoing genetic improvements to pigs.

Tour of the National Pig Centre at the opening event

The indoor facility is equipped with CCTV throughout, permitting round the clock observations of individual pig’s behaviour at all stages of production. Researchers will utilise computer vision to automate data collection from the video footage, so behaviour and nutrition can be monitored at the individual pig level.

Students from across the University will have the opportunity to study at the National Pig Centre as part of their degrees, and some will have chance to contribute to research projects taking place at the farm.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said: “Leeds is proud to be working in a number of ways at home and internationally to improve food security and the sustainability of the agricultural sector.

The National Pig Centre will provide a key national resource for industry to work in partnership with the University to develop innovative and practical solutions that make a positive contribution to the economy, environment and society.

We are hugely grateful for the strong support we have received from CIEL and Nigel Bertram, and the leading edge work of Helen Miller, our Professor of Animal Bioscience, in developing this facility.”

The facility has also been supported by a generous donation from University of Leeds alumnus Nigel Bertram.

Named in his honour, the Nigel Bertram Visitor Centre features conference and meeting facilities, offices and a live CCTV feed from the indoor pig unit.

Collaborating with industry

Centrally located in the UK, the National Pig Centre will promote engagement, discussion and collaboration between researchers and industry. The University and CIEL will work together to drive this process.

A membership organisation, CIEL works with businesses across the livestock supply chain to identify & develop their research needs and build relevant collaborations to deliver new technologies and processes that address key challenges facing the sector.

“We’re very proud to work with Leeds and develop this first for the pig and pork industry,” said Lyndsay Chapman, CIEL’s Chief Executive. “It provides unique research capability on a commercially relevant scale and complements the investments we’ve made across the CIEL network. Through our nationwide collaborative alliance, we’re working to ensure industry has access to the very best expertise in this field of research.”

Tackling challenges in food security

Projects at the National Pig Centre will help tackle some of the current challenges in pig production including:

  • Nutrition: developing precision feeding for livestock to improve sustainability and productivity and study the effects of nutrition on welfare and behaviour
  • Anti-microbial resistance: developing healthier pigs with more robust gut health and improved resistance to disease, thereby reducing antibiotic use
  • Production systems: improving efficiency of production and identifying better ways to feed and manage pigs
  • Monitoring pig behaviour and developing algorithms to allow early detection of health conditions

The National Pig Centre is one of the University facilities that will help deliver the goals of the Global Food and Environment Institute (GFEI), which aims to address the challenge of feeding the world whilst protecting natural resources.

This work aligns closely to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly to end hunger, achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture.

As well as the pig farm, GFEI is also carrying out research projects in arable farming, urban food consumption and health, food security in the Global South, and international food supply chains.

A guide to shutdown when the University is closed to help us meet our carbon reduction targets and reduce costs to the university.

Christmas Shutdown Advice

We are committed to lowering our carbon emissions and the Christmas shutdown period gives us an opportunity to reduce energy waste. By switching off equipment when the University is closed, you can help reduce our environmental impact.

Despite the majority of the University estate being unused over the Christmas period, we still consumed a total of 155,000 kWh of electricity and 143,000 kWh of heat on Christmas Day 2018. To put it into context, this is as much electricity as 40 average UK homes use in a full year!

This Christmas the shutdown period runs from Tuesday 24 December to Wednesday 1 January – with your help we can reduce our energy consumption while the buildings are unused. Before you leave, you can help by:

  • switching off lights and closing windows
  • ensuring as much lab equipment as possible is turned off before you leave – drying cabinets and incubators etc; and
  • checking IT equipment, including screens and projectors.
  • Don’t forget less obvious energy wasters – printers, hot water boilers and microwaves can all be unplugged over Christmas

We understand some equipment is required to maintain safety or is being used for research purposes and therefore needs to remain on. However, any equipment not affected by this, which can be turned off, will help us meet our carbon reduction targets and reduce costs to the University

Thank you for your continued support!

Representatives from the University, BAM and architect design team at the Bragg project event

University’s new building reaches its summit

The construction of the new Sir William Henry Bragg building at the University of Leeds celebrated a milestone today, as the building reached its tallest point.

To mark the occasion a special “Topping Out” event took place. University colleagues were joined by representatives from main contractor BAM Construction and architect design team ADP, BAM Design, Arcadis, Gardiner & Theobald, ARUP and Silcock Leedham.

Colleagues watched as the building’s plant room was lifted onto the roof, forming the highest point of the new building. The plant for this technologically advanced new building is complex, and BAM has assembled the plant room off-site in a factory environment, with the support of local Leeds company Waites Mechanical Services, saving time and cost on the project.

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.

Steve Gilley, Director of Estates and Facilities said:

“I’d like to thank all of our partners who have contributed to this flagship project to date. It’s important to mark key milestones, and recognise the importance of the expertise from extended project teams, to ensure the successful construction of this new facility.”

For BAM Construction, John Phillips said:

“Topping out is a centuries old tradition, and this year BAM is 150 years old, while the University’s origins date back to a similar time, to 1874. Today we are both known for being leaders in modern technology. The University is looking to the future, and BAM are delighted to be helping them to create facilities for the next generations of students and academics.”

Joe Morgan, Director, ADP said:

“This project was conceived in 2015 as a critical component of the strategic masterplan, to create a collaborative hub for computing and physical sciences. The building champions the need to address tomorrow’s challenges whilst minimising its impact on the environment, so it is appropriate that one of the components designed to make this building so highly energy efficient should be lowered into place as part of the ‘topping out’ celebration.”

Ian Aldous, Director, Arcadis said:

The scale of this project – from the stakeholder engagement through to the design solution and delivery – has been immense and everyone involved has been on a real journey. As such, to see the critical milestone being reached is hugely satisfying for all involved, and a testimony to the dedication of all parties to the future vision.

Colleagues watch as the plant room is craned to the roof of the Sir William Henry Bragg Building project

 

Learn more about the Cloberry Street Building project

Work begins on new teaching facility

Colleagues have come together to mark the start of work on a new teaching facility on Lyddon Terrace.

Representatives from Estates, Leeds University Business School and the School of Law joined the contractor BAM construction and architects DLA Architecture to mark this important construction milestone.

LUBS Ground Breaking

Richard Gaughan, Gardiner & Theobald LLP; Kevin Pollard, BAM; Craig Reed, Director of DLA Architecture; Professor Nicholas Scott, Leeds University Business School; Professor Julia Bennell, Leeds University Business School; Steve Gilley, Estates and Facilities Services; Dennis Hopper, Director of Campus Developments; Mitali Agrawal, Leeds University Business School; Ben Walker, Gardiner & Theobald LLP; Mark Sanderson, BAM

The investment, on Lyddon Terrace, will create a new central teaching facility which will also house space for the Business School and the School of Law.  It is proposed that prominent features of the building will include a new Trading Room, flexible teaching areas and Behavioural Laboratories to provide more flexible and innovative ways of teaching.

Steve Gilley, Director of Estates and Facilities said: “This new building is contributing to the University’s wider ambition to create an environment that promotes learning, innovation and enterprise. It will provide technology-rich, flexible teaching spaces, lecture theatres and trading rooms, further advancing the delivery of world-class teaching solutions.”

Professor Julia Bennell, Dean of Leeds University Business School, said: It is wonderful to mark the beginning of the construction of this new state-of-the-art teaching facility. I am grateful to the many Business School colleagues and Leeds University Union (LUU) students who contributed to designing what will be a world class student-centred learning environment. These new facilities will further enhance our reputation as a leading Business School.

Mitali Agrawal, a Business School Student Representative for the Marketing division said: “This important investment in the new building is testament to the dedication and commitment of the Business School in enhancing its students’ learning experiences here at the University.”

BAM construction director, Kelvin Pollard, said: “It is fantastic to be building another world-class teaching facility at the University of Leeds, where we are already on site delivering the Sir William Henry Bragg building. We have well-established, strong working relationships with the University and this is an excellent basis to work from.”

Click here for more information about this project.

Learn more about the design for a new student hub on western campus

Award-winning architects to design new student hub on western campus

The University of Leeds has announced ambitious plans to create a flagship building for students and staff at the heart of the western campus, supported by a generous gift from the Laidlaw Foundation.

In partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) the University has commissioned an architectural competition to design the building, which attracted submissions from around the world.  O’Donnell and Tuomey, an award-winning Dublin-based architectural firm, has been named winner of the competition and will work with the University to develop detailed plans.

The building will be the focal point for student enterprise and innovation activity on campus.  It will also provide a range of key facilities, including space for study and social learning, educational outreach activity, and support for employability, careers and skills development.

The investment is a key part of plans to expand Leeds University Business School (LUBS) and the School of Law, creating an inspirational environment for staff and students, and a welcoming environment for visitors.

The student hub that will be open to all students will be situated on University land adjacent to the Maurice Keyworth Building, home of LUBS, and the Liberty Building, home of the School of Law.

Professor Julia Bennell, Deputy Dean of Leeds University Business School, said: “The University provides an outstanding educational experience for all of our students and the student hub will enhance this by bringing together support for student enterprise, innovation skills development and careers in one exceptional space.

“The creation of innovative and sustainable educational space will also give the Business School and the School of Law the room that we need to grow. The appointment of an award-winning architectural practice signifies our intent to develop an outstanding building and I look forward to working closely with O’Donnell & Tuomey to develop our vision.”

Irvine Laidlaw, who established the Laidlaw Foundation, studied Economics at Leeds in the 1960s.  He has also supported the Laidlaw Library, and an ongoing programme of Laidlaw Scholarships.

Lord Laidlaw said: “The University has a long-standing tradition of welcoming students from less well-off backgrounds to Leeds and helping them to achieve their potential. I am delighted that the Laidlaw Foundation is supporting the development of this building, which reflects my philosophy of education as a driver for social advancement.”

Parkinson Building main entrance with accessible lift

The Parkinson Building is now fully accessible

The Parkinson Building our most iconic building on campus, has elevated its profile following the completion of work to install a lift at the main entrance of the building.

Following a detailed scheme of improvement works, which has included the installation of the lift alongside the upgrading of the steps and handrails, together, for the first time in history, the University has made it possible for all visitors, students and staff to enter Parkinson Building using the main entrance.

Len Wilson, Deputy Director of Estates commented: “The University makes every effort to improve accessibility across campus. The Parkinson steps have been an iconic gateway to the University since its opening in 1951. Although a major focal point for student and visitor gatherings, the steps have been one of the most inaccessible parts of campus. The University has been keen to address this and ensure all visitors, students and staff are able to enter this iconic building via the same entrance, have the same experience and be equally inspired.”

The Parkinson Building with the new accessible lift

The University is made up of a community of people with diverse backgrounds and circumstances, which we value and regard as a great asset. As part of our continued commitment to equality and inclusion, we strive to create an environment where everyone can access our campus, have an opportunity to participate in and contribute to our activities allowing everyone to reach their full potential.

Sabiha Patel, Head of Equality and Inclusion, commented: “I am grateful to the University and delighted with this development to Parkinson Building.  Full access to our buildings is an essential first step to inclusion.   Everyone should now be able to enter the building easily and take advantage of all the opportunities it affords.”

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Director of Estates and Facilities collecting the award for Design Excellence at the Yorkshire Insider Property Industry Awards 2019. Photograph taken by Nick Freeman, 246Photography.

Design excellence award for Nexus

Nexus has been recognised for its design excellence at the Yorkshire Insider Property Industry Awards 2019.

The annual awards celebrate the major deals and developments from across the region as well as the teams of planners, lawyers and architects that made them possible.

Designed by Associated Architects on behalf of the University, the award judges’ comments included: “The £38m Nexus project represents an investment in building relationships between the private sector and academia, and there has already been a good take-up of office space.”

Steve Gilley, Director of Estates and Facilities commented: “Every construction project presents different challenges for us. We aim to provide buildings which offer solutions to new ways of working for our students, staff and business partners. Taking these ideas and developing our requirements into a well-designed building is the task we set our external architects and consultants. I’m grateful for the great partnership with Associated Architects, who have been behind Nexus, and am delighted their work has been acknowledged at these prestigious regional property awards.

James Hall, Director of Associated Architects commented: “We have really enjoyed working on this project and are pleased it has been recognised. A strong ambition to set new standards by the University has enabled us to develop an innovative building that responds to this challenging location and provides a new University ‘front door’.

For more information read about the construction of Nexus and find out more about the work of Nexus.

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Blooming good results for our Grounds and Gardens

Blooming good results for Grounds and Gardens

The University campus has been awarded a gold accolade for its outstanding grounds and gardens at this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom awards.

The award signifies the comprehensive approach we take to incorporate sustainability, promote wildlife habitats and create a cohesive environment across the campus. The success of the Living Lab projects incorporated with planting and pond schemes was also acknowledged, alongside our innovative approach towards biodiversity.

The Judges commented: “The University campus was a pleasure to visit. The grounds are well-maintained and used as a Living Lab by the various onsite faculties. All plantings are measured using an innovative biodiversity standard to optimise any new landscape features during the planting stage. Successful examples are the maturing and very colourful Charles Morris Garden, The Roger Stevens Pond, The Laidlaw Library Roof Garden and the interactive sensory garden. The presence of a low maintenance urban wildlife garden with an apiary on site located at the centre of campus, reinforces the university’s commitment to raising awareness and implementation of biodiversity considerations. An art trail, walking route and a significant level of interpretation, encourage the casual visitor to explore what is a well presented clean and tidy campus.”

Each of the award entries is assessed against three criteria sections, horticulture, environment and community. The University scored 86 out of a possible 100 which qualified the team for a Gold award signifying excellence of work.

The award also came at a fitting time for two colleagues in the team, as James Wright, Grounds and Gardens Team Leader explains: “We were delighted to receive this award, it’s incredibly rewarding to have our hard work and commitment acknowledged through Yorkshire in Bloom. We work closely with colleagues in sustainability and other colleagues in Estates to ensure we create great spaces for bringing environmental benefits as well as wellbeing benefits to all users of our campus. The Grounds and Gardens team are made up of colleagues with varied experience in this field. Indeed we have been celebrating two of our colleagues,Sam Robinson who has recently successfully completed his apprenticeship at the University and now has a full time position within the team, and Frank Dods, our longest serving member of the team with over 25 years at the University.  It’s a real honour to celebrate this achievement with all the team, who collectively give so much each day to creating a well presented and welcoming campus.”

RHS Britain in Bloom is the largest horticultural campaign in Europe and each year it grows in size and importance and involves more people, groups and organisations creating lasting improvements to local environments.

 

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Maurice Keyworth refurbishment project

Creating inspiring and engaging spaces

The Design Office has recently completed the Maurice Keyworth refurbishment project. 

They worked with the Business School to create an inspiring and engaging study space for students to work in a variety of different ways. The space has been divided into zones using furniture solutions that encourage collaborative group work as well as quiet areas for individual study and contemplation.

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LIC building is now the Clarendon Building

LUBS Expansion: Clarendon Building update

The Leeds Innovation Centre (LIC) is now the Clarendon Building.

The Sewell Group Construction has been working on the £2.7m upgrade to facilities that will further advance the provision of education facilities for students within Leeds University Business School.

So far, they’ve had 105 people inducted to the site and 400 metres of refrigeration pipework has been installed. New wall locations have been constructed across all floors forming the new room layouts. Mechanical and electrical works have progressed across all disciplines.
Structural door widening works have continued to all floors.

The Ground floor, which will be a computer cluster will be ready for use as the autumn term begins.

Over the next few weeks, Mechanical and electrical works will continue, floor finishes will commence and the external facade louvre installation will be completed.

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