The University of Essex in the UK has topped out a new £21m building at its Colchester campus, designed by the architectural firm BDP.
The three-storey, 5,550m² building will house Essex Business School and will feature teaching space, a 250-seat lecture theatre and several smaller seminar rooms.
The building will also feature learning and teaching areas, common rooms and a winter garden, which will act as an entrance and meeting space, with a café as well as social spaces.
Sustainable features of the building include a green sedum roof, photovoltaic solar panels and sustainably sourced materials.
The university said the building will also feature a transparent panelled roof similar to that used in the Eden Project, which is made from a fluorine-based plastic.
Planned to be completed in mid-2014, the building is expected to secure BREEAM Excellent rating.
University of Essex registrar Bryn Morris said, "It is a beautiful structure and very soon it will be a hive of activity supporting fantastic work by our staff and providing wonderful facilities for our students as they enjoy studying at Essex."
BDP said the building has been designed with sustainable features at every level, from its orientation on site, choice of structure and materials, landscaping and passive engineering strategies.
The new building will enable the Business School to "bring all staff and students at the Colchester Campus under one roof and provide new opportunities to expand its links with the business community locally, nationally and internationally", the architect added.
Image: The three-storey, 5,550m² building will house Essex Business School. Photo: Courtesy of BDP.