University opens doors to new £45m facility

The University of Wolverhampton has officially opened the doors to its £45m School of Architecture and Built Environment.

The new building, designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects, is part of the university’s £120m regeneration of the former brewery site in Wolverhampton.

Professor Geoff Layer, vice chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “This really is the dawn of a new era in construction education. The completion of the School of Architecture and Built Environment at Springfield Campus is the university’s flagship project, which has taken several years to come to life.

“Instrumental to the City of Wolverhampton’s broader regeneration plans, it acts as an exemplar of the regeneration of a brownfield site. As a Construction Centre for Excellence, it also addresses the need to train and upskill young people to help limit the shortage of individuals entering into the construction industry.”

The facility offers specialist teaching and social learning spaces, design studios, specialist labs, multi-disciplinary workshops, lecture theatre, cafe, offices, meeting rooms, ICT rooms and a top floor super studio with double height ceilings.

It will provide space for nearly 1,100 existing students and 65 staff, with the number of students projected to grow over time to 1,600.

The school will specialise in supporting skills in architecture, construction, civil engineering, building control, building services, facilities management, quantity surveying, planning, construction management, housing and commercial.

It will also be home to the university’s new National Brownfield Research Institute.

The NBI project is funded by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership through the government’s Get Building Fund and the wider Springfield £120m project has benefited from contributions from the European Regional Development Fund, the Government’s Growth Deals and the former Higher Education Funding Council for England. The School of Architecture and Built Environment was also sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Wedge Group Galvanizing.

The Springfield redevelopment project is being project managed by Rider Levett Bucknall. The design team is also made up of conservation advisors Rodney Melville & Partners, mechanical and engineering by Couch Perry Wilkes, quantity surveying by Faithful and Gould and structural and civils engineer Atkins, which will also provide landscape architecture.

Associated Architects have designed the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills, the School of Architecture and Built Environment and will be leading on the National Brownfield Institute design. Delta Planning have worked on the NBI planning application submission.

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