The University has begun work on a Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) facility, which will bring together practical teaching activities across a broad range of science and engineering disciplines. The CTL is due to be completed in Summer 2018.
Following the confirmation of planning permission in September 2016, the approved plans outline the construction of a new purpose-built facility which will incorporate a wet lab, dry lab and e-lab, to be located between the Learning Centre and the Biosciences Building. This project represents an investment of over £40 million in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at the University.
Transforming Science Education
The new state-of-the-art facility, along with the recently-opened engineering lab in the School of Engineering Building, will enable us to rethink the way STEM subjects are taught at the University. It will make more effective use of staff time and resources through the efficient use of practical teaching space, innovations in teaching delivery and the reinvention of practical classes. This will allow both undergraduate and postgraduate students to benefit from transformational teaching in a space designed to encourage and facilitate collaborative and inter-disciplinary working.
The hope is that this environment will also prepare our students more readily for future professions by reflecting the multifaceted nature of working life. In addition to transforming practical teaching, the CTL will provide a visually stimulating and interactive environment in which to showcase science and STEM subjects to a wider audience. It will provide a flexible space for outreach and business engagement activities, open days, events and Continuing Professional Development.
In December 2016, construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall were appointed to build the CTL. Morgan Sindall’s area director for the West Midlands, Richard Fielding said: “We have a very strong and demonstrable capability in the education sector and we’d like to welcome the University of Birmingham as our latest customer. This appointment consolidates our position within the important sector. This is a hugely important building for the region’s premier higher educational establishment and we are very much looking forward to delivering the building.”
The building’s architect is Sheppard Robson, and construction began in January. The three-storey 72,120 sq ft building will take the shape of a robust brick structure, with variation in materials and form to represent three different internal environments of the laboratories. The front of the building will be characterised by large angled brise-soleil made from gold anodised aluminium which projects over the main entrance. The building design has also been awarded the BREEAM Excellent standard and a EPC A Rating for efficiency.
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