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MECD - more than just one building!

12 Feb 2020

Some “did you know” facts about MECD that might surprise you…

The new campus is shown vis just servicing

Did you know that the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) is much more than just one building? There are actually seven buildings included in the entirety of the development. These include three brand new buildings; MEC Hall, York Street Building and Upper Brook Street Building, three repurposed buildings: James Chadwick Building, Oddfellows Hall and Booth Street East, formally MBS East, and finally a brand-new active travel hub for commuters.

This isn’t the only informative fact about MECD that you will be reading today! For example, did you know that at £420m, MECD is one of the largest construction projects undertaken by any higher education institution in the UK? All this information and more is included in our top ten MECD facts below.

Number one – Did you know, MECD was designed by the same keen eyes who developed HOME, the Library of Birmingham and KAMPUS?

MECD was designed by Mecanoo. These globally recognised and award winning architects also designed the new Library of Birmingham, and popular locations in Manchester such as HOME and the soon-to-open KAMPUS. Their catalogue of projects spans the length and breadth of architectural requirements, with projects taking place across the world from New York to Seoul.

Number two – Did you know, MECD will be home to around 1700 members of staff?

That’s right! Around, 1700 colleagues will be moving into MECD between now and December 2021 – including Academic, Postgraduate Research Students (PGR), Professional Services Staff from Faculty, Schools and Departments, Technicians, Apprentices, Conferencing and Events, Porters and stores professionals, as well as two research institutes – Dalton Nuclear Institute and BP-ICAM – will all be accommodated within the walls of MECD.

Number three – Did you know, a fifth of the University’s total PGR population will be accommodated in MECD?

Our MECD departments are home to some of the brightest and most engaged PGR students in the country. In order to give them the experience we know they deserve, all our PGR students will benefit from a new working environment in MECD.

Number four – Did you know, MECD will be home to almost 100 meet and teach spaces?

Ranging from small meet and teach rooms for 10 people, all the way to 150 person rooms and the impressive near-550 seat lecture theatre. The majority of which are on the first three floors of MEC Hall, which has been designed with our students at its heart.

Number five – Did you know, MECD is one of the most technically advanced building projects ever undertaken by The University of Manchester?

Whether it’s the bespoke laboratories housed in the double height basements or the specialist servicing that feeds into the countless spaces throughout MECD – one journey through the development demonstrates that designing and building these new spaces was no small feat! With approximately £100m spent on the servicing needs of the buildings, this will without-a-doubt be one of the most technically advanced and adaptable buildings our campus has to offer.

Number six – Did you know, the move from North Campus to MECD will take 18 months to complete?

Planning a move on this scale requires a huge amount of technical and logistical knowledge and expertise. Over 2500 items of technical equipment (not including the benchtop lab items), 1700 people and their belongings and over a 100 years of historical objects all must be reviewed, packaged and moved to MECD. 18 months will cover all the moving period, and kicks off with the High Voltage Lab moving into York Street Building in summer 2020.

Number seven – Did you know, MECD has been designed to be adaptable?

MECD will be integral to teaching and researching engineering and material science in the UK for the next 60 or more years. In order to ensure we are at the cutting-edge of the next big discovery, the buildings have been designed to be modular, allowing spaces to be repurposed and redesigned easily to reflect the changing needs of students and staff over time.

Number eight – Did you know, MECD will be home to three café and a ‘Christie’s style bistro’?

The perfect place to grab a brew or a tasty lunch will be right on the door step with three cafes and a brand-new restaurant in the beautifully restored Oddfellows Hall.

Number nine – Did you know, MEC Hall has balconies?

On the fifth and sixth floors of the large MEC Hall building are four balconies per-floor. These amazing outside spaces will provide some of the best views that our campus has to offer looking out over the city of Manchester and the peak district!

Number ten – Did you know, MECD is much more than just a building project?

MECD is much more than just a building project - how we use MECD for research and teaching activities presents an opportunity to redefine the Faculty’s working environment and culture, and many of our current processes and practices will need to adapt accordingly.