Contractor unveiled on major uni renovation

UNIVERSITY College Birmingham has appointed a main contractor for the first phase of its major campus renovation project.

York-based Shepherd Construction has scooped the £17m contract to deliver a new 81,700 sq ft teaching facility which will bring back to life unoccupied buildings.

The four-storey development will replace vacant buildings and a car park on Charlotte Street and Holland Street in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

UCB said the first phase would cost in excess of £24m and be entirely self-funded.

It is aiming for a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating and will include a postgraduate centre, classrooms, three lecture theatres, a 24-hour study hub and a 200-seat café.

Architect on the scheme is Associated Architects, cost consultant is Gleeds, project manager is EC Harris, Couch Consulting Engineers is providing structural services and Couch, Perry & Wilkes is the mechanical and electrical consultancy.

This project makes up the first phase of UCB’s renovation plans with the later stages still undecided but possibly including student accommodation and more learning facilities.

Work is due to begin this month and be finished by June 2013. Shepherd Construction recently completed the £66m Bournville College in Longbridge.

UCB principal Professor Ray Linforth said: “The appointment of Shepherd Construction marks another step closer for us in achieving our goal of providing additional excellent teaching and learning facilities.

“We have insisted on high levels of sustainability to be integral to the project including installation of photo voltaic solar panels, rain water harvesting, energy efficient lighting and high levels of heating insulation.”

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