Notts firm deliver landmark project for university

Work has completed on The University of Nottingham’s state-of-the-art School of Humanities building – one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings in the area.
Notts firms Clegg Construction and architects CPMG have worked together to complete the landmark BREEAM rated ‘excellent’ building on the University Park Campus after CPMG and engineering consultants Arup won a design competition for the new school.
The new School of Humanities is part of the university’s £90 million new build programme which will transform the campus landscape and set new standards for university teaching and learning facilities.
Sustainability has been at the forefront of the design and build with several techniques used to provide low energy solutions. It will be part of the university’s ongoing commitment to reducing energy and CO2 emissions. The three-storey concrete framed teaching facility and offices for academics and post graduate students, features terracotta and zinc cladding and curtain wall glazing.
Clegg Construction MD Simon Blackburn said: “The University of Nottingham is now established as a global force and its commitment to setting international standards shines through in the School of Humanities. It is a dramatic design in every sense and we feel privileged to have been involved.
“Not only is the Humanities building one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings in the area and BREEAM rated, but with its landscaping and water features, it is a great place to work and study.
“The structure has been designed for maximum energy efficiency and some of the latest sustainable materials have been used to ensure it is as environmentally friendly as possible.  For example, a system of ground source heat pumps and 100 metre bore holes will help to keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter – and its many windows will allow natural light to flood in.”
The £5.4 million build project took 12 months to complete. The School of Humanities, which has been built next to the Department of History building, has seen extensive landscaping with plaza walkways and water features, said Mr Blackburn.
Hugh Avison, group director at CPMG said: “We were delighted to win the design competition for the Humanities Building, as our concept offered an innovative and efficient solution which would provide an exciting contemporary facility in which to learn and work, as well as being a strong architectural statement on a prominent route through the campus.  We have worked closely with the University and with Arup, the engineering consultants, to deliver on these principles.  The building’s success is underscored by a BREEAM Excellent rating, which reflects the quality of the internal environment and the building’s exemplary low-energy credentials.”
As home to one of the world’s leading energy research groups, The University of Nottingham continues to invest in new sustainable buildings and cutting-edge facilities. The university is leading the way as 2018 approaches when zero carbon emissions become a design requirement for new public buildings.
Stephen Mumford, dean of the arts faculty at the university, said: “Our new building is the realisation of a dream. For the first time, the school has a central hub around which staff and students gather. This allows all sorts of interactions to take place: the sort that are the lifeblood of academic life. The use of internal space was considered carefully and we are delighted to see it working as planned. The building is the biggest thing that has happened to the school since its formation.”
The building has been granted BREEAM ‘excellent’ status – the BRE’s environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. BREEAM rates developments on a range of criteria – including land use, ecology, transport, management, energy and pollution with scores ranging from ‘pass’ to ‘outstanding’ .
The School of Humanities building is the latest in a series of projects which Clegg has carried out for The University of Nottingham. Previous projects include the impressive £4.5 million Geospatial Building – a world class centre of excellence in global navigation satellite systems for The University of Nottingham. Located in the university’s Innovation Park, close to the Jubilee Campus, the project is a regional beacon in terms of research and training facilities.
Clegg Construction is currently on site with the new £6.5 million Energy Technologies Building at Innovation Park in Nottingham.
Mr Blackburn added: “Clegg’s growing expertise in creating sustainable buildings with innovative features and bold design means we are attracting increased projects in this area. Not only are we working with The University of Nottingham, but also with Aston University in Birmingham too where we are building faculty buildings feature laboratories.
“Organisations are trying to save as much energy as possible and aim to reduce their carbon footprint. This type of construction project is a real area of knowledge for Clegg. It’s about making buildings environmentally friendly – and also comfortable to work in.”
The School of Humanities is made up of six departments: archaeology, art history, classics, history, music, philosophy and theology and religious studies.