The construction of the new £96m Sir William Henry Bragg Building at the University of Leeds celebrated a milestone last week, as the building reached its tallest point.
To mark the occasion, a special “topping out” event took place. University colleagues were joined by representatives from main contractor BAM Construction and architecture design team ADP, BAM Design, Arcadis, Gardiner & Theobald, Arup and Silcock Leedham.
Colleagues watched as the building’s plant room was lifted onto the roof, forming the highest point of the new building. The plant for this technologically advanced new building is complex, and BAM has assembled the plant room off site in a factory environment, with the support of local Leeds company Waites Mechanical Services, saving time and cost on the project.
Steve Gilley, director of estates and facilities at the University, said: “I’d like to thank all of our partners who have contributed to this flagship project to date. It’s important to mark key milestones, and recognise the importance of the expertise from extended project teams, to ensure the successful construction of this new facility.”
Set to open its doors to students in 2021, the new building represents a significant investment by the University in a new integrated campus for engineering and physical sciences. The facility will include first-class laboratory and specialised teaching spaces, enabling cutting-edge research and an outstanding student experience, while enhancing the University’s research power and strengthening collaboration with industry.
John Phillips from BAM Construction commented: “Topping out is a centuries-old tradition, and this year BAM is 150 years old, while the University’s origins date back to a similar time, to 1874. Today we are both known for being leaders in modern technology. The University is looking to the future, and BAM is delighted to be helping them to create facilities for the next generations of students and academics.”
Joe Morgan, director at ADP, added: “This project was conceived in 2015 as a critical component of the strategic masterplan, to create a collaborative hub for computing and physical sciences. The building champions the need to address tomorrow’s challenges whilst minimising its impact on the environment, so it is appropriate that one of the components designed to make this building so highly energy-efficient should be lowered into place as part of the ‘topping out’ celebration.”
Ian Aldous, director at Arcadis, said: “The scale of this project – from the stakeholder engagement through to the design solution and delivery – has been immense, and everyone involved has been on a real journey. As such, to see the critical milestone being reached is hugely satisfying for all involved, and a testimony to the dedication of all parties to the future vision.”
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