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

 

 

Screenshot from the time-lapse camera of The Esther Simpson Building site

Update on the Esther Simpson Building project

Many of our campus development projects had been placed on hold. However, work continued on the Esther Simpson Building site whilst closely following the Public Health England recommendations.

Since most of us have been away from campus the Esther Simpson Building project has been making progress. Below is an update from the contractor BAM about what work has happened in recent months.

Building progress

  • Steelwork has commenced on site and we are currently building the first phase of the works.  This starts from the side nearest the Substation working towards Cloberry Street.  Within this element is one of the first staircases to be installed also.
  • Once the first part of the frame is complete we will install nets to protect operatives before they commence installing the metal sheets which will become part of the floor structure
  • Due to failure in the surface to the temporary nursery drop off bays we have organised for this to be replaced with a fresh layer to ensure longevity for the scheme.
  • The next stage of structural works will require us to concrete the higher floors along with forming the basement concrete box housing the plantroom.

Timelapse

Watch a time-lapse of the Esther Simpson Building project.

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.

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

Photograph of the Parkinson Building with a photoshopped rainbow to symbolise Thank You to the NHS nad keyworkers

Update from Estates and Facilities

We want to recognise the effort of the different teams across Estates and Facilities for their work to support the University shutdown.

Shutting down the estate, maintaining essential services

Colleagues across Estates Operations have been busy, particularly with preparing for the closure of most buildings. They have been supporting services with staff who still need to access the campus, maintaining statutory compliance to protect buildings and remaining occupants, and also planning for the eventual re-opening of services, which in itself will be a huge undertaking. Grounds and Gardens and Handy gang staff have also been helping move, offload and store essential items, including hospital beds, in support of the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust.

The Water Hygiene team, ably assisted by volunteers from across the Maintenance team, have been working daily throughout the estate to ensure water services remain safe and secure. Similarly, the Fire Alarm team is working in the majority of buildings to maintain life safety systems protecting them against the risk of fire whilst unoccupied. The Asbestos team and Health and Safety team have also been coming on to campus for business-critical work only.

The Generating Station Complex (GSC) remains a key service provider to the University and the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust. The present crisis means that the operation of this facility is more critical than ever. Consequently, key members of the Operations team have been tasked with focusing exclusively on planning (with the contractor Engie) the continued safe operation of all services from the GSC with an emphasis on serving the hospital as the critical partner.

The lockdown does present a unique opportunity for us to better understand how energy is used across campus. The Engineering team have been working to carry out the planned shutdown of non-essential facilities to reduce the University’s energy demand to a minimum. This will help reduce wastage and running costs and help inform any future works required to address the University’s net-zero carbon challenge.

Our campus development projects have also been placed on hold. For the immediate future, we have stopped work on most of our campus developments, refurbishment and improvement projects, except for projects where the contractor feels they can safely continue whilst closely following the Public Health England recommendations. These projects include the Sir William Henry Bragg Building and The Esther Simpson Building. The teams are currently assessing the impact of delaying projects and continuing to develop ways to be in a position to tender schemes once there is more clarity about future activity on campus.

Keeping campus safe

As one of the essential services that remain working on campus during the shutdown, the Security Services have been ensuring that campus buildings and facilities remain safe and secure. Security have stepped up high visibility patrols of campus to act as a deterrent to crime and the team are managing access to buildings across campus to ensure that they are available to essential workers.

Security have also taken steps to ensure that staff and students still on campus can access face-to-face advice and support whilst still adhering to social distancing guidelines. A new 24/7 WhatsApp video call service has been set up on 07876 866747, for anyone who needs to speak directly to a security officer. If support is needed in person then the Security Office remains open as an essential service during the shutdown.

Jo Hynes, Deputy Director of Estates & Facilities Services, said: “The Security team are truly a leading example of our values. They are going above and beyond to ensure the safety of the campus and be a first point of contact for all enquiries. They’re supporting students who are still living in residences and are managing essential contractor access. All of this whilst having to work differently themselves and maintain good practice in terms of social distancing and their own safety. Thank you to all the officers and staff!

“A special thanks as well from the whole security team to Catering Services and Bev Kenny. They have very kindly provided meals throughout this period, making the officers feel appreciated. In the current circumstances gestures like this help a lot!”

Managing health and safety

Colleagues from Health and Safety Services have also been supporting work across the FD from managing contractor access and induction at the beginning of the shutdown to developing and managing risk assessments for the essential activities that teams are performing. They have also developed proactive guidance on health-related issues and how best to accommodate the demands of working remotely.

Helpdesk, Office Support and Car Parking

To prepare for the relocation of FD staff from campus to working from home, the Office Support team have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to ensure that we have had sufficient IT hardware and access to software. The team are continuing to support with day-to-day activities of the FD, which includes ensuring staff are kept up to date during these fast-moving events, logging urgent work orders onto SAP and maintaining records of completion dates which are critical to ensuring that the physical infrastructure of the University is maintained during this shutdown.

To help support NHS staff working at Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust, the FD has offered free use of the parking facilities on campus. This will enable more NHS staff to travel to the hospital via car and avoid the risks of travelling on public transport during the current lockdown. The car parks are also now free to use for any University staff who are still coming onto campus as essential workers during the shutdown.

Keeping campus clean

Cleaning Services continue to have a cohort of staff who are providing essential support to activities that are still taking place on campus. This includes areas such as the Dental Hospital and Worsley Building, laboratories being used to support the NHS’s efforts to combat coronavirus and buildings where other essential staff are working. The team continue to manage the clinical waste process on campus, as well as ensuring external areas of campus are kept clean and tidy.

In the coming weeks, the team will be working on a plan to remobilise the campus for when the current isolation rules are lifted. These plans will include a standard deep clean to ensure that all University students and staff have the best experience when they arrive back on campus.

Impact on Central Teaching Space

The team are constantly in touch and are busy working from home. As the University determines how teaching will be delivered in the first semester of the new academic year the team will be assessing the impact on central teaching space facilities and the potential increased demand for lecture capture and live streaming facilities.

Planned refurbishments of teaching spaces have been paused and using data from the Condition Audit and from Timetabling, consideration will be given to maximise the best use of space.

Updates on the University response to Coronavirus can be found at coronavirus.leeds.ac.uk

Waterside Cafe

Customer Service Accreditation success

We are delighted to announce that our services in the Facilities Directorate  have received re accreditation of the Customer Service Excellence ® (CSE), a government standard that recognises an organisation’s commitment to putting customers first.

Following a tremendously busy year in 2019 services in the FD have worked harder than ever to deliver continuous improvement on their existing compliance plus status.  Earlier in March the Services received a one-day surveillance visit from the CSE accreditor who looked over this year’s submission and met with colleagues to find out more about the great work that is taking place.

Jo Hynes, Deputy Director Estates and Facilities commented:

“I would like to thank and congratulate all our staff across Campus Support Services, Catering and Events Management, Marketing and Communications and Sport and Physical Activity. This achievement is testament to everyone’s continued hard work and commitment to deliver excellent service to our customers. This year, we have achieved compliance plus across a further 10 accreditation criteria. This is a fantastic result and demonstrates our ability to deliver continuous excellence.”

Our Services received compliance plus and additional praise for the following:

We use reliable and accurate methods to measure customer satisfaction on a regular basis.

We analyse and publicise satisfaction levels for the full range of customers for all main areas of our service and we have improved services as a result.

We have made positive changes to services as a result of analysing customer experience, including improved customer journeys.

There is corporate commitment to putting the customer at the heart of service delivery and leaders in our organisation actively support this and advocate for customers.

We empower and encourage all employees to actively promote and participate in the customer-focused culture of our organisation.

We can demonstrate our commitment to developing and delivering customer focused services through our recruitment, training and development policies for staff.

We provide our customers with the information they need in ways which meet their needs and preferences, using a variety of appropriate channels.

We take reasonable steps to make sure our customers have received and understood the information we provide.

We have improved the range, content and quality of verbal, published and web-based information we provide to ensure it is relevant and meets the needs of customers.

We identify individual customer needs at the first point of contact with us and ensure that an appropriate person who can address the reason for contact deals with the customer.

 

Read through the brochure that supported our accreditation

Car Park

Free Parking on campus for students and staff

Free Parking on campus for students and staff from 18 March, 5 pm until further notice.

From 5 pm on 18 March, all University students and staff will be able to park free of charge on campus until further notice. This includes the multi-storey car park (except the 8th floor) and all other car parking facilities on campus.

  • Staff – you will need your vehicle(s) to be registered on the ParkIT system if you’ve not done so already. If coming to campus, this can easily be done once on campus via the ParkIt website
  • Students – please email carparking@leeds.ac.uk if you are not already registered for out of hours parking

Visitors

Visitors to the campus will also be able to use our parking facilities anytime, at standard rates. Please visit https://estates.leeds.ac.uk/our-services/car-parking/visitor-parking/

Malcolm Dawson, Head of Security, and Mark Bownass, Deputy Head of Security, with the Secured Environments plaque

University of Leeds receives Secured Environments accreditation

The University of Leeds has received the police-certified Secured Environments accreditation. To achieve the award organisations must demonstrate that they have adopted the six key principles for protecting themselves against crime. This achievement demonstrates the University’s strong and proven commitment to placing the safety of students, staff and visitors at the forefront of everything we do.

Operating on a large, 98-acre single site location just outside of the city centre presents the University with a complex set of challenges. The security team have adopted the six key principles of Secured Environments and maintain close working links with local partners such as West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City Council. This means that Security Services are able to proactively manage the safety of the people and property on campus.

“I would particularly like to thank those staff who worked tirelessly to achieve this award. Their excellent collaborative work was vital to our success.”

– Malcolm Dawson BEM, Head of Security

Malcolm Dawson BEM, Head of Security, said: “Receiving this award is a superb accolade. It reflects the high calibre of work done by all members of the Security Services to embed safety across the University. We are also extremely grateful for the support we received from members of the wider University community who helped participate in the accreditation process.

“I would particularly like to thank those staff who worked tirelessly to achieve this award. Their excellent collaborative work was vital to our success. Key members of the team were Mark Bownass, Deputy Head of Security; Andy Gordon-Platt, Crime Prevention Advisor; Ian Crawshaw, Security Training Officer; PC Rebecca Hurrell, our Police Higher Education Liaison Officer; Danil Beekman, our Administrator; and Rebecca Damment-Vezzosi, Business Improvement Officer, who ably project managed the process. Throughout the entire accreditation we were also fully supported by Joanna Hynes, Deputy Director of Estates & Facilities Services.”

Dennis Hopper, Director of Campus Development, said: “This accreditation serves as a clear demonstration of the importance the University places on student, staff and visitor safety. I’m extremely proud of all the staff in the Security Services for the constant good work that this award recognises.”

The Secured Environment accreditation is valid for three years, confirming our approach to security is up to a police-certified standard. The Security Services will continue to work alongside colleagues from across the University to ensure that this remains the case.

Security Services leaving a helping hand flyer on an unattended iPad

Security giving you a helping hand

Security Services are starting a new campaign to give you a helping hand with keeping your property safe. From Monday 20 January, Security started to place new hand-shaped flyers on any unattended property in public spaces around campus to highlight the risk of opportunistic theft.

Whilst campus is generally a safe and secure space, it is also important to understand that there is always a risk of crime in a big city like Leeds and you need to take steps to protect yourself from it. You probably take your laptop and phone down to the library to study most days. If you leave them unattended to nip away for a coffee, then you could have lost hundreds if not thousands of pounds worth of items by the time you get back.

We’re hoping that if you come back to see one of our helping hands on your stuff, then you’ll realise it would’ve only taken seconds for it to have been stolen.

– Andy Gordon-Platt, Crime Prevention Advisor

Andy Gordon-Platt, the University’s Crime Prevention Advisor, came up with the concept for the ‘helping hand’, “The police had a similar anti-burglary campaign a few years ago. I thought that a version of this could make a real impact on reducing opportunistic theft within our public spaces. We’re hoping that if you come back to see one of our helping hands on your stuff, then you’ll realise it would’ve only taken seconds for it to have been stolen. With our officers’ regular uniformed patrols of campus, students are also able to ask questions about how they can best protect their property.”

If you want to know more about security on campus and how to keep yourself and your property safe, then why not visit the Security drop-in sessions in the LUU Foyer? They’re 11am – 2pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays and you’ll be able to speak with the Police Higher Education Liaison Officer, PC Becky Hurrell, the Crime Prevention Advisor, Andy Gordon-Platt, and the on-duty operations manager. For further information and advice, visit leeds.ac.uk/security.

Completed Language Centre in the Parkinson Building

Language Centre transformation speaks volumes

Language Centre staff and students have moved back ‘home’ into Parkinson after a 15-month construction project to transform facilities in the iconic building.

Refurbishment of levels two and three provide high quality facilities for learning and teaching, including the Centre’s area for independent language learning, which is available to all staff and students.

It also provides workspace for colleagues comprising the Centre for Excellence in Language Teaching in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies.

The project has been designed to maximise space while highlighting key features of this historic building, also retaining the Centre as a key gateway to the University for many international students.

New facilities provide a modern and attractive learning environment.

The third floor is now exclusively for Language Centre colleagues and comprises office and meeting space, while the second floor has been reconfigured to be student facing, including:

  • a new Language Centre reception and Student Support Office
  • a reconfigured Language Zone entrance
  • five rooms for small group teaching, complete with lecture capture facilities; and
  • three technology enhanced rooms for innovation in language teaching.

Rupert Herington, Deputy Director, Language Centre, said: “After 15 months elsewhere on campus, we are very pleased to be back in the Parkinson building and very happy with how the two floors have been transformed.”

Other features of the development include:

  • refurbished common and pastoral areas
  • improved signage throughout the Centre
  • new ‘breakout’ areas and private seating booths for group or individual study
  • additional meeting and consultation rooms
  • new staff facilities, including kitchen areas and ‘breakout’ space; and
  • improved lighting and ventilation to provide a more comfortable and energy-efficient environment.

Penny Tiffney, Senior Interior Architectural Designer in Estates, said: “The success of the completed scheme, is a direct result of a collaboration and frequent communication between the Estates team, our consultants, the contractor and the stakeholders. The focus was on the details and that is evident in the elegance of the completed scheme.

“The existing structure, with its heavy masonry brickwork, initially offered its challenges, but our design consultants, Associated Architects, worked with the structural grid to create new spaces that complimented the rhythm of this Grade II listed building.

“The essence of the specified interior finishes was to complement the original aesthetics. The original parquet, walnut doors and brass ironmongery were restored, in part, or recreated to match existing. And the new colour palette was subtle and muted, so as not to detract from original architectural features.”