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20 December 2017

Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD), Manchester, UK

Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) includes the development of a new world-class engineering campus by the University of Manchester in the UK.
Manchester Engineering Campus Development is a part of the University of Manchester’s ten-year master plan. Credit: Mecanoo.
Construction of the MEC is expected to be completed by 2020. Credit: Mecanoo.
Manchester Engineering Campus will feature cutting-edge facilities and state-of-the-art classrooms. Credit: Mecanoo.
A number of sustainable measures such as wastewater management and energy-saving features will be included in the campus. Credit: The University of Manchester.

Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) includes the development of a new world-class engineering campus by the University of Manchester in the UK.

The campus development is part of a ten-year transformation project worth £1bn ($1.33bn) initiated by the university to build a single campus with international standards offering bespoke educational facilities to students and staff.

The University of Manchester is investing £350m ($467m) in the project. Construction on the project commenced in October 2016 and is expected to be completed by 2019.

University of Manchester master plan

Development of the new engineering campus is part of the University of Manchester’s Manchester 2020 Vision master plan. The main components of the master plan include the construction and modernisation of existing student facilities, as well as improvements to the public realm.

To spur the development of the initiated programme, the university has appointed three contractors through a partnership agreement to deliver the majority of the projects over the coming years. The contractors include Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, and Balfour Beatty.

Manchester Engineering Campus design details

The MEC will be a sustainable engineering campus equipped with bespoke technology solutions to assist in project research and innovative learning practices.

The campus will cover a 71,000m² area and accommodate approximately 7,000 students and 1,300 employees. It will feature cutting-edge facilities and state-of-the-art classrooms.

It will accommodate the four engineering schools of the university, which include the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the School of Materials and the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering.

The Dalton Nuclear Institute and the BP-International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM) will also be an integral part of the new facility. An additional facility called ‘maker space’ will be created to assist students in creating new technology inventions.

The buildings will have a simple and strong structure made of steel and bricks. They will feature large atria and natural ventilation systems to allow maximum natural light into the interiors.

Sustainable features of the engineering campus

The campus is set to receive an ‘Excellent’ rating under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) for its sustainability features.

Cycles will be made available to users in order to reduce pollution on the campus. Two electric charge stations will also be set up to serve electric vehicles running on the premises.

The campus will also feature landscaping to promote biodiversity and employ advanced energy saving, waste management and water conservation techniques.

Contractors involved

Balfour Beatty was awarded a £287m ($381m) contract for the MECD in November 2017. The contractual scope includes the construction of workshops and other engineering facilities.

Balfour Beatty has been associated with the University of Manchester since 2015 and was named as the university’s construction partner. It has been working on the design and development of the MEC after entering the pre-construction services agreement (PCSA) in November of the same year.

Mecanoo was appointed as the chief designer and architect for the project in 2014. Arup Group was tasked with providing civil, mechanical and electrical engineering services, and public health services.

Other contractors involved in the project are Buro Four (project managers), iDEA/ Buro Happold (consultation services), Sweett Group (cost consultants) and AECOM (design and management coordination).

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