New £40m lab for University of Birmingham

The topping out stage of the new Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) was celebrated with a traditional topping out ceremony on 19 October

University Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Softley joined Richard Fielding of construction company, Morgan Sindall, in signing one of the CTL’s girders to mark the occasion. 

Once complete, the 72,120 sq ft building will facilitate the University of Birmingham’s teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Set over three storeys, the new flagship laboratory will include high-specification equipment and modern technologies, as well as dry, wet and computer laboratories. 

These will be available for use by different student groups simultaneously. The laboratories will be complemented by a public engagement space, which will allow the university to promote STEM subjects to a wider audience.  

The sustainably-designed building is targeting a BREEAM Excellent standard. Use of modern, high tech IT systems, including VR technologies, will enhance the user experience and futureproof the facility. 

Morgan Sindall’s site team completed work on the building’s frame in July. The façade has been enclosed with a structural framing system and curtain walling. Elements of the roof have just been completed, affording water tightness and ensuring that the build process is on schedule for a summer 2018 handover. 

Professor Softley, said: “The University of Birmingham aims to deliver the best possible learning experience for our students. This is not simply a building, but a change in the way we deliver engineering and science-based education in the University.  

“The CTL will make more effective use of staff time and resources through the efficient use of practical teaching space and innovations in teaching delivery. Our students will benefit from transformational teaching and become better prepared for working life.  

“We have already seen the benefits that the first phase of CTL has brought in our School of Engineering and student feedback has been positive.”

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