Birley Fields – Manchester Academic Building

Birley Fields, Manchester Academic Building, Hulme Architecture, Architect, Images

Birley Fields, Manchester

Architecture Development in Hulme – design by Capita Symonds

5 Dec 2012

Birley Fields

Hulme, south Manchester, England

Design: Capita Symonds

Capita Symonds Appointed to £60m MMU Project

Capita Symonds has been appointed by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd to provide multidisciplinary design services on Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) new £60m Birley Fields academic building in Hulme.

Birley Fields Manchester Birley Fields Manchester
images from architect

The project comprises the construction of a new landmark five-storey academic building, energy centre and extensive public realm works for the Faculties of Education and Health, Psychology & Social Care.

The academic building, which has aspirations to be one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK higher education sector, is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and is being designed towards a zero carbon, waste and water strategy while providing improved biodiversity for the site. It will feature a high performance ‘Solar Veil’ façade and highly efficient mechanical and electrical systems, as well as a combined heat and power facility for the new site, rain water harvesting, grey water recycling and infiltration of storm water to the ground.

The ground floor of the building will be open to the public and various facilities will be available for community booking for activities ranging from sports to drama performance.

The building is part of a wider £139m masterplan for the Birley Fields campus which includes 1200 student residencies; a multi-storey car park; an energy centre building providing heat and power to the academic building and student residences; and a significant new hard and soft landscaped public realm area.

Birley Fields Manchester Birley Fields Manchester
images from architect

Picking up the Sheppard Robson design at RIBA stage E, Capita Symonds will be utilising a multidisciplinary BIM (Building Information Modelling) approach on the 21,400 sq m facility. The academic building has an exposed pre-cast concrete frame incorporating ‘Coolslab’ floors. These pre-cast concrete panels are provided with a high quality soffit finish and incorporate water pipe-work to help cool the building in addition to making use of the inherent thermal mass of the floors. Structurally the slabs – which span up to 12m – are 400mm thick overall, have an in-situ topping to generate continuity in the design and incorporate permanent void formers to reduce the overall weight.

Work on site has commenced with bulk excavation and piling activities. The development is scheduled to be completed in two years time for the start of the new academic year in September 2014.

Birley Fields Academic Building information / images received from Capita Symonds

Capita Symonds


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