Featuring a central atrium, Lancaster University’s new 50,600 sq ft engineering facility is a two-winged development designed to house mechanical workshops and laboratories on the ground floor, electronics and chemical engineering on the first floor and provide academic office space, study areas and meeting zones on levels three and four.
Designed by John McAslan + Partners, the development will provide additional areas for future growth and new specialisms such as nuclear, energy and chemical engineering. The learning environment integrates contemporary ‘live labs’ as a visible aspect of the external building design.
Built in-line with Lancaster University’s sustainability and carbon-reduction targets, the building has been designed to achieve the environmental performance measure of BREEAM ‘outstanding.’ The development combines multiple renewable energy sources including wind and biomass provisions.
Eric Wright is also underway with other projects on campus as part of the university’s ten-year masterplan to improve student facilities. These include the internal refurbishment of the Faraday Building for the chemistry department and the construction of a new collaborative technology access programme (CTAP) building which will provide additional research and development laboratories.
John Wilson, managing director of Eric Wright Construction, said: “Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) is a hot topic at the moment and to be responsible for creating a new facility that will expand Lancaster University’s engineering offering is wonderful.
“Now, more than ever, universities are working hard to ensure their facilities are better than the competition and this, as well as other projects currently underway at Lancaster, will certainly make it stand out to potential students.”
Mark Swindlehurst, director of facilities at Lancaster University, said: “The new engineering building is a fantastic addition to Lancaster’s estate and offers truly world-class facilities. Eric Wright Construction has worked hard to deliver a quality building for our engineering department, a building that will inspire our students of the future.”
The new engineering facility opened its doors to students in January and was officially opened by the university’s new chancellor, the Rt Hon Alan Milburn on 4 March 2015.