Balfour Beatty awarded Manchester Engineering Campus Development project
23 Nov 2017
Contract represents one of the largest capital developments ever undertaken by a UK higher education institution
Balfour Beatty has been formally awarded the £287 million contract by The University of Manchester to construct the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD).
The four-year project forms an essential part of the University of Manchester’s ten-year Campus Masterplan to create a world-class estate benefitting staff, students and visitors. This will support the University’s strategic goals of creating world-class research, providing an outstanding learning environment and student experience and social responsibility.
MECD will provide a state-of-the-art facility, housing the University’s Engineering schools, innovative teaching spaces and research institutes such as the Dalton Nuclear Institute and the BP- International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM). It will consolidate the majority of the University’s estate onto one main campus, creating a more compact and coherent infrastructure that reduces the institution’s carbon footprint and costs. MECD will also free up considerable land holdings in the north of the campus, contributing to the future economic success of the city with redevelopment opportunities in a prime city centre location.
Upon completion, the facility will benefit from ‘green’ construction techniques resulting in smart energy consumption and advanced water recycling and waste systems. The development will host a wide range of flexible hi-specification laboratories and lecture spaces to welcome up to 7,000 students and 1,300 staff. MECD will also incorporate blended learning facilities, workshops and a ‘maker space’ where students will see their engineering creations come to life.
At peak construction, the project will employ a workforce of 1,000, including multiple apprenticeships and graduate placements. The project will also create new job opportunities for unemployed local people through the University’s Construction Academy, which provides local residents with exposure to career opportunities in the construction sector. The project team will maximise the use of off-site manufacture and the latest in BIM technology to optimise construction efficiency and deliver a smart facility of the highest standard.
Dean Banks, Balfour Beatty Managing Director, UK Construction Services, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to construct the MECD, one of the largest single developments ever undertaken by a higher education institution in the UK.
“We have extensive expertise in the higher education sector having delivered schemes such as the Holyrood postgraduate village at the University of Edinburgh, The Diamond building for the Engineering Faculty for the University of Sheffield, and the Foundry Courtyard Student Accommodation Complex in Glasgow. Our longstanding expertise enables us to provide The University of Manchester, its staff and students with an iconic campus, in addition to delivering multiple benefits to local communities including job generation and apprenticeship opportunities.”
Diana Hampson, Director of Estates at The University of Manchester, said: “The Manchester Engineering Campus Development will be a world-leading centre for learning and research. This development is central to the University’s ten-year Campus Masterplan which is creating an exceptional environment for our exceptional people. We are providing state-of-the-art facilities that will rival those of our international competitors and help attract world-class academic talent to the institution.”
Balfour Beatty was appointed to the University’s Construction Partnering Framework in May 2015 and has been working under a Pre-Construction Services Agreement (PCSA) since November 2015, enabling design development and early engagement with key supply chain partners.