New building on £120m flagship campus handed over

The keys to the National Brownfield Institute (NBI) on the University of Wolverhampton’s flagship £120m Springfield Campus have been handed over.

The ‘shovel-ready’ project benefited from £14.9m of funding from the Government’s Get Building Fund for the West Midlands. City of Wolverhampton Council worked closely with the Black Country LEP and West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to secure the funding with the remainder provided by the Government’s Towns Fund.

ISG was awarded the contract to build the NBI, with work starting in April 2021. The £17.5m research centre, designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects, received planning approval in December 2020.

The NBI will focus on the practical application of future brownfield regeneration and remediation through the work of research teams, leading policy development and commercial services.

The new Institute will also identify and look to address gaps in current provision, with a particular focus on the digital skills needed to transform the industry, bringing together expertise from across the region and further afield with greater focus on construction design, Building Information Modelling (BIM), off-site, modular construction, and lean construction methodologies.

Professor David Proverbs, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the university, said: “This is another major milestone for our important regeneration project, further adding to the portfolio of construction and built environment expertise that now resides at the Springfield Campus.

“The NBI will be at the heart of a West Midlands Construction Training Offer – providing the industry with the skills needed both now and in the future. As well as being at the forefront of a transformation of the way we will build homes and communities, it will also ensure that we learn from research around the world on modern construction and remediation technique.

“The NBI will help as a catalyst in utilisation of brownfield sites and provide developers with advice and knowledge in relation to areas such as building scanning, soil analysis, ground water contamination and ground stabilisation to effectively bring those sites back into use.

“It will be a working model for brownfield remediation and new construction techniques that can be implemented regionally and nationally and exported around the world, building on existing expertise offered on site through the Thomas Telford University Technical College, the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills and the new School of Architecture & Built Environment.”

The 12-acre Springfield Campus is already home to the Thomas Telford University Technical College, Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills and the recently opened £45m School of Architecture and Built Environment.

The NBI project team includes the University’s Estates & Facilities Team, Associate Architects, CPW, Faithful & Gould, Delta Planning, Atkins and MACE.

Picture caption from left to right: Councillor Ian Brookfield (Leader of City of Wolverhampton Council), Wayne Flannery (Regional Director – ISG), Wala Abdalla (PhD Research Student – University of Wolverhampton), Professor David Proverbs (Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University), Andy Street (Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA), Arun Kumar (Programme Office – Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership) and Paola Reyes Veras (PhD Research Student – University of Wolverhampton)