Esther Simpson Exterior

Summer completion for Esther Simpson

The Esther Simpson Building is still on course to be completed this summer and the first phase of the landscaping and highways work associated with the project begins in April. The work will initially focus on a wheelchair friendly route from the rear of Leeds University Union up to Cromer Terrace. 

Work on site is progressing well with the contractor BAM. The building is now watertight and the electrical and mechanical services have completed their ‘first ‘fix’. 

Landscape works have also commenced around the south elevation and next to the FD building, and will progress around the east side of the building.  

Read more about the project, view photos and this months’ time lapse of the construction

Esther Simpson Lecture Theatre

A lecture theatre in the Esther Simpson building

Exterior of Sir William Henry Bragg Building

A facility to Bragg about!

Earlier this month we were delighted to receive handover of the Sir William Henry Bragg building from the contractors ‘BAM’.  

When the building fit out completes this summer, this new facility will enable research to be conducted on national and international platforms to solve the challenges the world faces right now. It will also inspire current and future generations of students to innovate and drive change for a better future.  

The next steps in the coming months are to migrate research equipment (new and existing) into the building and recalibrate, also with service connections, as necessary. Full furniture fit out will also take place along with IT / AV installations ready for teaching this autumn. 

Read more about the project, view photos, and a time lapse of the construction

The Sir William Henry Bragg Building

Exterior of Sir William Henry Bragg Building

Construction completes on flagship development for the University of Leeds

Construction of the new Sir William Henry Bragg Building for the University of Leeds has been completed. The new landmark building for engineering and physical sciences, provides an impressive range of environments to support cutting-edge research and encourage collaboration across disciplines.

Named after Sir William Henry Bragg, a former professor at the University who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915, the facility will play a key role in the design of new materials research, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical manufacturing, low energy electronics and robotics.

David Oldroyd, Senior Project Manager` in the University’s Estate Services, has overseen the building of the building. He said:

“This is the largest single-project that the University has undertaken since the 1960s, and the result is stunning. The building is a testament to the University’s investment in its research capability for decades to come.

It also creates a vibrant and collaborative space for academics and students to share knowledge and experience.”

The total floor space is 16,200m² and the building will house some of the most advanced electron microscope technology in the UK, including the Royce Institute and Wolfson Imaging Facility. The highly sensitive equipment will allow researchers to see and video the motion of individual molecules.

The development was designed by ADP and delivered by BAM Construction, with Arcadis as project managers, cost management by Gardiner & Theobald, and engineering services provided by Curtins and ARUP.

Forming an instrumental part of the University’s current 10-year masterplan – also designed by ADP, the Bragg Building will strengthen the University’s collaboration with industry while enhancing the student experience.

The laboratory spaces are designed to encourage a culture of interdisciplinary working in the research and development of new materials, in areas including computing, telecommunications, sustainability, biology, pharmaceuticals and medicine. A striking central atrium incorporates flexible breakout spaces to provide the building with a vibrant social heart.

The low carbon new-build element connects to the Grade II Old Mining Building, which has been sensitively repurposed and extended with a new storey. Externally the use of engineered precast stone and materials such as Portland stone were chosen to complement the existing building and historic character of the surrounding conservation area. Two new bridges connect the Bragg Building with the School of Chemistry and Electrical Engineering, providing a physical link between the adjacent buildings. This will further encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Despite the current pandemic, work continued on site at reduced capacity with BAM implementing a number of safe working procedures in line with the government’s advice on social distancing.

This world-class collaborative research centre is set to open its doors to students later this year.

“From its inception the Bragg Building was an incredibly ambitious project, delivering world-class research facilities in the heart of the campus, within a conservation area and surrounded by heritage assets. The new building has rejuvenated the Old Mining Building and public realm and created a new gateway to the campus.

It is a great collective achievement and one ADP is incredibly proud to be associated with. We very much look forward to opening the doors and welcoming staff and students in.”

Joe Morgan, ADP Director.

 

“Delivering the iconic Bragg Building on such a difficult city centre site presented a series of challenges for the team. However, our use of modular elements including a precast concrete frame enabled us to deliver the project safely and efficiently”.

John Conway, BAM Construct UK

 

“This world class facility, which has repurposed and reimagined existing buildings and provided exemplary new facilities and is a genuine game changer for the University in terms of how the schools and departments will work together, collaborate, engage with industry, and make a sustained and valuable impact through research, teaching, student experience and discovery.

The Bragg project team and University should be rightly proud of achieving the successful delivery of this exemplary development through a global pandemic.”

Ian Aldous, UK Account Director for Universities & Science, Arcadis.

Note to editors

ADP

ADP is an employee-owned architecture practice, founded more than 50 years ago. The practice has wide experience across a number of key sectors including healthcare, education, hospitality, workplace and residential.

We focus on the positive experiences our buildings create for people and communities, and how they can benefit the environments around them. Our bespoke “Sustainability, Belonging and Engagement” assessment tool enables us to measure the social and environmental impact our projects have.

As an international practice, we work from nine different locations across the UK, Cyprus and India, but as one team with a wide range of expertise to suit any project.

Find out more information about ADP.

Arcadis

Arcadis is the leading global Design & Consultancy organization for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets.

We are 28,000 people, active in over 70 countries. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities and regions around the world.

Find out more information about Arcadis.

Gardiner & Theobald

Gardiner & Theobald is an independent construction and property consultancy delivering Cost Management, Project Management and Specialist Consultancy for the built environment for over 180 years.  We are passionate about three things: delivering a truly world class service for our clients, investing in the best people to deliver that service and remaining financially strong and independent.  These are the pillars of our success and what sets us apart from the rest.

Find out more information about Gardiner & Theobald.

Exterior of Sir William Henry Bragg Building

A facility designed for 21st century science

A new teaching and research facility for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences has been formally handed over to the University by construction company BAM.

The handover represents a significant milestone. Work on the project started four years ago and the focus now shifts to fitting out the interior, with a scheduled autumn opening date.

Named after Sir William Henry Bragg, a former professor at the University who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915, the new facility will bring together the School of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Computing, creating an engineering and physical sciences hub on the north-east corner of campus.

Designed to meet the needs of modern research

The basement of the Bragg building will house sensitive equipment including some of the most advanced electron microscope technology in the UK for fabricating and investigating new materials. The Bragg building has been designed so that vibration from passing traffic does not interfere with ultra-sensitive laboratory instruments.

The University is a founding partner of the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, and the Institute’s work at Leeds will be co-located in the building with the Bragg Centre for Materials Research. Work will focus on manipulating and developing materials at the scale of individual atoms.

Professor Edmund Linfield, Director of the Bragg Centre for Materials Research, said:

“The superb facilities in the Bragg building will allow us to engineer materials at the atomic and molecular scale, and undertake internationally-leading science and engineering.  It will also allow us to strengthen further our extensive interaction with academia and industry and build new research partnerships.

It creates an exciting space for undergraduates to learn and for postgraduates to start their research careers.”

The basement of the Bragg building will also be home to the Wolfson Imaging Facility where state-of-the-art instrumentation will enable scientists to see molecules interacting in real time.

A space to collaborate

Professor Nora de Leeuw, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said:

“Experience tells us that the big questions in science will only be tackled when researchers from different disciplines collaborate on solving problems. From the outset, that has been at the heart of the design brief for the new Bragg building. The building is a place for people to collaborate.

Sir William Henry Bragg’s research has shaped science for more than a century. And it is my firm belief that the science that will be conducted in the building that takes his name will extend that legacy.”

New building will ‘accelerate innovation’

The Robotics at Leeds research group will have access to a mock medical operating theatre to develop robotic systems for medicine and healthcare. Director Professor Pietro Valdastri said:

“Having access to a realistic clinical environment will allow researchers to evaluate how clinical staff interact with robotic platforms. This will help us get our ideas and inventions working in the real world much more quickly.”

The University will be looking at ways to open the facilities to industry, to help quicken the pace of innovation.

Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, said:

“The University is investing in high-quality student facilities and world-class research capability, which will allow Leeds to continue to play an important role in strengthening the UK’s economic and industrial future.”

Watch the Sir William Henry Bragg Building time-lapse

David Oldroyd, Senior Project Manager in the University’s estate and facilities team, has overseen construction. He said:

“This is the largest single project that the University has undertaken since the 1970s, and the result is stunning.

The building is a testament to the University’s investment in its research capability for decades to come. It creates a vibrant and collaborative space for academics and students to share knowledge and experience.”

The Sir William Henry Bragg Building incorporates the old School of Mining, which was built in 1930. The Portland stone façade of the Grade II listed structure has been retained, but behind it the space has been remodelled and a walkway connects with a new seven-storey glass-and-steel complex with teaching rooms and laboratories designed to meet the rigours of 21st century science.

The building has received an Excellent grading from the independent assessor BREEAM for its sustainability.

Creating your home study or home working haven

Whilst many of us are currently working and studying off-campus, it is important to have a workspace or study area set up to create a happy and comfortable environment.

Penny Tiffney, University Interior Designer, talks more on creating calm, comfortable and inspiring working environments at home.

“I have had the opportunity to design many of our new learning and teaching workspaces on campus. In doing so some of the key factors me and my team aim to achieve are to create warm, inviting spaces, where our students can spend a good few hours comfortably working.

These spaces can come in different shapes and sizes, and whilst we know, for example, bright and colourful environments can inspire and motivate, there are many small ways in which we can create an environment to help us have productive days studying or working at home”.

Here are Penny’s top tips on how to do this:

Penny tiffney

1. Choose a designated working space where you feel happy.

A place of focus, where you can make the most of the natural light and sit comfortably at a table or desk. This space could be in your bedroom perhaps, a small area where you have a surface to work on or a desk, or it could be on a kitchen table which offers more space to spread out. Have a look around your home and experiment with different spaces.

2. Form good habits in your workspace.

Have a routine in your work schedule, where you know you have focus time and have time away from your work. During focus time you may wish to have a clear and tidy work area where you can fully concentrate. When having time away from your work be sure to get some fresh air and move your body to release any tension that has built up.

3. Make your space work for you.

Your space is personal to you, so decorate and ordain it with the things you love and inspire you, whether that be plants and candles to family photos and artwork.

Sir William Henry Bragg Building

Major milestones in sight for 2021

Here at Campus Developments, the team are beginning to gear up for Spring 2021 celebrations that will take place to mark major capital development milestones at the Faculty of Biological Sciences and the Sir William Henry Bragg Building.

Over the last few months, and despite the difficulties that have arisen from the pandemic, we have worked hard with our construction partners to keep our key capital development projects moving. The finishing line for the FBS Refurbishment project is starting to come into sight with work by the Contractor Overbury due to finish at the end of February 2021. The investment and improvements will continue driving forward the growth of research income and create a new flexible model for open laboratory and office environments, facilitating collaborative working. Find out more about the latest progress that has been taking place.

Meanwhile, over at the Sir William Henry Bragg Building the BAM contractor team are looking ahead to completing full construction works in February next year. They are currently concluding all the majority of physical works, finalising external landscaping work and completing commissioning activities. The new 15,700m2 building will enable the integration of the University disciplines of Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, and Computing along with the provision of critical central teaching and social interaction spaces.

Online tours of both projects will be showcased in the Spring and we hope these will be followed by in-person building tours for large numbers of staff once it is safe to do so.

There’s only one-way

Lifton Place and Cromer Terrace will soon be heading in a new direction once work begins on a new scheme to create a one-way contra flow system in that area.

Currently in the vicinity of Lifton Place and Cromer Terrace the Esther Simpson building is being constructed and when complete it will naturally attract large numbers of students and staff to this area of campus. To ensure the area remains as safe as possible for all pedestrians and cyclists and to reduce traffic congestion, plans are in place to reconfigure the road layout.

The three-phased scheme will commence in Spring 2021 and complete in Autumn 2021.

Phase 1: Spring 2021

The first phase of works will encompass the creation of a much-improved accessible route from the rear of LUU to Cromer Terrace. This will improve access to the western side of campus and the Esther Simpson Building whilst also contributing to the University’s wider strategy to make campus more accessible and wheelchair friendly.

Phase 2: Easter – Summer 2021

Significant work will take place along Cromer Road to create a service yard for University Catering service vehicles only. This area has traditionally been a bottleneck and the new measures will create a more effective access route for delivery vehicles and make the area safer for nearby passing pedestrians and drivers. There will no longer be pedestrian access in this specific area. The new layout will allow vehicles a dedicated space for parking and will eliminate the current congestion issues caused by parked vehicles on the corner of Cromer Terrace.

Phase 3: Summer 2021 – Autumn 2021

The final phase of works in the scheme will see Lifton Place and Cromer Terrace becoming one-way single flow for vehicles. A contra flow will also be created along these roads to ensure safety for cyclists. The footpath along Lifton Place will also be widened. This will help to reduce the congestion that often occurs during class change over in term time. The safety of our staff and students is a priority and a raised platform area will additionally be created to slow traffic down along Lifton Place and Cromer Terrace. Soft landscaping along the terraces on LIfton Place will complete the scheme.

Parkinson Building lights switching off

Christmas shutdown advice

We are committed to lowering our carbon emissions and this year’s extended Christmas shutdown period gives us an opportunity to cut energy waste.

We know that working patterns at the University have changed with many of us working from home for significant proportions of the time. Those of us that are visiting campus for essential reasons may be on site infrequently or less regularly than before. It is important that any equipment that is used is switched off (where possible) between campus visits, and particularly as we approach the Christmas break.

Despite the majority of the University estate being unused over the Christmas period, on average each year we still consume a total of 155,000 kWh of electricity and 143,000 kWh of heat on Christmas Day.

This is as much electricity as 40 average UK homes use in a full year!

This Christmas the shutdown period runs from Monday 21 December to Monday 4 January – with fewer staff on Campus, those of us that are present can have a real impact 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 are turned off.
  • don’t forget less obvious energy wasters, too. Printers, hot water boilers and microwaves can all be unplugged during the Christmas break.

We understand some equipment is required to maintain safety or is being used for research purposes and therefore needs to remain on. However, switching off any equipment which can be turned off will help to reduce carbon emissions.

Thank you for your continued support, and we hope you have a great Christmas!

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.

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