The University of Huddersfield’s newest structure, the Oastler Building, was opened less than three months ago, but it has already won its first award and now is heading for a national grand-final, taking place in November.
The award for Best Education Building was conferred by the West Yorkshire Local Authority Building Control Awards (LABC) and was presented to the university’s Assistant Director of Estates and Facilities, Tim Hosker, and his team.
The LABC awards are the country’s largest business-to-business awards for building excellence with all of the regions coming together to compete for top spot in the final to be held in London at the end of the year. The £28m Oastler Building was opened by the University’s Chancellor HRH The Duke of York, KG, in April 2017 and is the new home for the Law School and Humanities department with state-of-the-art conference and meeting facilities.
At the building’s official opening ceremony The Duke met apprentices who worked on the structure. The university, along with main contractor Morgan Sindall, collaborated to provide ten full-time apprenticeships for school-leavers and graduates. In his speech at the opening, His Royal Highness spoke of his fascination for the “interconnectivity” between the specialists and the different services working together on such an ambitious project. He added how impressed he was that the Oastler Building was fully operational from day one, with hardly any teething difficulties.
Throughout the build, the university has demonstrated its commitment to using local firms wherever possible in order to boost the local economy. One such company was behind the design of the building, AHR Global, now a global architectural practice but which still has its roots in Huddersfield.
Construction of the Oastler has seen the sourcing of £210,000 of Yorkstone from the local Johnsons Wellfield Quarries and a £1 million steel frame from Elland Steel structures of Halifax. The Oastler Building was designed to complement existing buildings on the campus, particularly the adjacent Student Central Building and the Creative Arts Building. The new structure provides new teaching spaces, a number of large tiered lecture theatres and a brand new mock courtroom for the Law School. The design also meets BREAAM Excellent sustainability ratings, thus ensuring its green credentials.