Set in the heart of England near Coventry, The University of Warwick is a research campus that was founded in 1965 and originally set up as part of a government initiative to expand access to higher education. To mark the 50th anniversary, plans were passed for a comprehensive redevelopment of the university’s central campus involving a new teaching and learning facility. The innovative building features two large lecture theatres and 14 top quality adaptable teaching spaces, including a state-of-the-art four-screen video wall in the central atrium.
Plans were passed in 2013 for the construction of a three storey educational building and a single storey MBA lecture theatre, scheduled to be opened in the autumn of 2015 at the University of Essex. The build comprised a B & K Structures, European partner of the X-LAM Alliance, optimised hybrid structure of glulam, CLT, steel and prefabricated wall cassettes.
The project came as a result of a £5 million award which was granted to Essex from the Higher Education Funding Council for England – the highest award available for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) facilities. The University then match funded with an additional £5 million to build the interdisciplinary teaching facility. The key driver for the project was to create the first zero carbon business school in the UK – a building aimed to reflect the university’s vision for growth, excellence and sustainability. The facilities were designed to provide students, staff and business partners with innovative spaces in a collaborative environment – focused around a winter garden in an Eden Project style dome.
Building 57 is an outstanding combination of sustainable low-carbon ethos delivered with innovative construction methods - a truly sustainable solution, creating a building with an exceptionally low carbon footprint. The challenge for the X-LAM Alliance was to provide a structural solution which could deliver the environmental credentials specified by the client, along with providing a fast, quiet and clean build. Behind the exterior façade is an ambitious three storey structure that goes some way to answer the challenges faced by the modern construction industry. The structure comprises, cross laminated timber, precast concrete and steelwork, with a glazed steel entrance and façades of pink render, terracotta tiles and zinc cladding.