The South Wing of the campus in Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, which was originally built in the 1960s, has been completely re-modelled to offer a state-of-the-art facility with both dedicated and bespoke learning and teaching areas as well as more informal space for students to enjoy. â€¨â€¨
In response to student feedback wider than average corridors have been decked out with seating and power/data points to create informal areas designed to double up as ‘working on the go’ or social space. To create the right ambience students have been given free choice of colour for feature walls in the areas they will use the most, such as teaching rooms and informal social spaces.
To accommodate growth within the Faculty of Society & Health, which is primarily based at the University’s Uxbridge campus, an advanced clinical skills laboratory with an eight-bay hospital ward has been built. The new skills area will be kitted out with the latest in interactive medical and teaching aids, including a range of simulation manikins for both child and adult nursing fields. â€¨â€¨
Provision has also been made for the future development of an additional fully functional simulation suite consisting of an operating theatre and recovery room. This will match the facility already available at the Uxbridge campus and will therefore double the capacity for students’ interactive learning in a simulated hospital setting. â€¨â€¨
The refurbished building also offers bespoke office space for academic staff as well as a ‘drop in and drop out’ hot spot to facilitate flexible working arrangements for staff. Teaching space has also been increased with five new teaching rooms with sliding partitions to accommodate variable class sizes.
In terms of reducing the University’s carbon footprint, the building’s old single-glazed timber-framed windows have been replaced with metal curtain walling and double-glazed windows with special reflective glass which is highly insulated to enhance energy saving and reduce thermal heat gains. â€¨â€¨
A 50 kW solar panel array forms part of the new roof structure which will generate 50,000 kW of electricity per annum. This measure, coupled with the building’s new and reinsulated felted roof, will play a key part in the University’s pro-active carbon reduction programme, as will the air source heat pump which efficiently provides both cooling and heating systems within this building. â€¨â€¨
The two solar panel arrays on South Wing and sister building ‘Timberlake’ will together produce enough energy to power, for a full year, another University building known as ‘Owen Harris’. This block, which stands at the rear of the campus, covers 1.800 sq. metres and houses 80 staff who work in key business functions including HR, Training, Communications, Marketing and Admissions as well as the Universities International Office and two large lecture theatres.â€¨â€¨
Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Derek Godfrey said: “We are really excited at the prospect of unveiling our newly refurbished state of the art South Wing facility at the beginning of the new academic year. Not only will students and staff be delighted by the external and interior re-development, but budgets have been carefully managed over the course of the eight-month building project to ensure there was enough money left to fund even more development. â€¨â€¨
“The second stage, due for completion at the end of December, will see the ground-floor transformed into a flexible multifunctional area which will be used to showcase events for students’ work as well as host open days for prospective Bucks students. This area will also have direct access from the Gateway concourse which will provide additional connectivity for our University community.”â€¨â€¨