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Capita Symonds to provide design services for MMU’s new academic building in UK

04 Dec 2012 (Last Updated December 4th, 2012 18:30)

Construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine has appointed Capita Symonds to provide multidisciplinary design services to Manchester Metropolitan University's (MMU) new £60m Birley Fields academic building in Hulme, UK.

Manchester Metropolitan University's Birley Fields academic building in UK

Construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine has appointed Capita Symonds to provide multidisciplinary design services to Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) new £60m Birley Fields academic building in Hulme, UK.

The academic building is part of the university’s £139m masterplan for the Birley Fields campus.

Birley Fields campus project will involve construction of a new five-storey, 21,400m² academic building, an energy centre, 1,200 student residencies, a multi-storey car park, and a new landscaped public realm area.

Located on a 15-acre site in Hulme to the south of Manchester city centre, the Birley Fields campus will house the university’s faculties of education and health, and psychology and social care after completion.

Expected to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, the academic building will feature a solar veil facade and mechanical and electrical systems.

The building will also have a combined heat and power facility for the site, a rain water harvesting system, grey water recycling and infiltration of storm water to the ground.

The ground floor of the building will feature various facilities to host sports and drama performance events.

Capita Symonds said it will be utilising a multidisciplinary BIM (Building Information Modelling) approach for construction of the building.

The academic building incorporates ‘Coolslab’ floors which feature a soffit finish and water pipework to keep the facility cool and to use the inherent thermal mass of the floors.

The slabs, spanning approximately 12m, are 400mm thick and feature an in-situ topping to ensure continuity in the design and to incorporate permanent void formers to reduce the overall weight.

The development is expected to be complete in time for the start of the university’s new academic year in September 2014.


Image: The academic building is part of Manchester Metropolitan University’s £139m masterplan for the Birley Fields campus. Photo: courtesy of Capita Symonds.