(Left to Right) Professor Tim Softley, University of Birmingham; Ellie Keiller, Guild of Students and Tony Fitzgerald, Morgan Sindall

Construction work at the £40 million University of Birmingham Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) has commenced at the heart of its main Edgbaston campus, marked by a ground breaking ceremony hosted by Morgan Sindall on Tuesday (21 March 2017).

The building will facilitate the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and will also enable enhanced collaborative and interdisciplinary training and engagement.

It includes high-specification equipment and modern technologies to support informal inquiry and independent learning, serving the needs of a diverse community.

It will also feature dry, wet and computer laboratories for use by different student groups simultaneously along with a public engagement space allowing the University to showcase science and STEM subjects to a wider audience.

Professor Tim Softley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham, said: “I am delighted to see that construction for the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) is progressing so well. The CTL will be the vessel through which STEM students learn how to succeed in the graduate market. It will help them to develop the technical and practical skills and cross-disciplinary working practices that will plug the gap in the market that we know is so important to industry.

“The CTL will also form part of their identity as STEM students, acting as a base for their studies. In addition to the three large, cross-disciplinary labs, the CTL will feature more than one-thousand square metres of informal learning spaces, encouraging students to be collaborative outside the labs as well as inside. I look forward to welcoming the new students next year.”

Ellie Keiller, President of the Guild of Students, said: “This building is such a fantastic opportunity for students to work collaboratively across disciplines and in top class facilities and I am sure that it will become a key part of campus life for students.”

The two-storey 72,120 sq ft building, which received planning consent in September 2016, takes the external form of a robust brick structure, while variation in materials represents the three different internal environments of the laboratories. 

The front of the building is characterised by large angled brise-soleil made from gold anodised aluminium which projects over the main entrance.

Morgan Sindall’s area director for the Midlands, Richard Fielding said: “Starting construction work is always an exciting moment for those who have lived and breathed the project for many months and even years. Significant work has been put in to enable us to reach this stage, and it is now our responsibility to realise the vision of the University and its team.
“This is a fantastic building which will bring new capabilities to the institution and take STEM subjects to a much wider audience. We are very much looking forward to the building emerging and demonstrating our capabilities and professionalism.”

Construction work is expected to be complete in time for the building to open by 2019. The building’s architect is Sheppard Robson

For more information please contact Samantha Williams, University of Birmingham, +44 (0)121 414 43984.