Sir William Henry Bragg Building,

Sir William Henry Bragg Building, University of Leeds

A landmark development for engineering and physical sciences, and the largest single project the university has undertaken since the 1960s.

Higher Education - Yorkshire

Project Overview

This project was a landmark development for engineering and physical sciences, and the largest single project the university has undertaken since the 1960s.

The project houses a new International Centre for Engineering and Physical Sciences (ICEPS) located on the north-east quarter of campus. The 15,000sqm building enables the integration of four disciplines and delivers critical central teaching and social interaction spaces, plus a purpose-built laboratory to provide a world-class research facility.

Understanding the project brief took the team 12 months to complete as the building / processes and adjacencies were extremely complicated. We undertook 24 stakeholder meetings during this early stage to fully understand the exacting requirements of the academics and large stakeholder team.

The site was enclosed on all sides by existing structures, including the Grade II listed Old Mining Building and the retaining wall of the St George’s Cemetery. The latter required the careful use of retaining wall technology to ensure their integrity, and a reduced level dig of over 7m was required to achieve a basement.


Finally, the imaging centre is extremely sensitive to vibration, and so we undertook the foundation design through the guidance of the vibration consultant to ensure it performed in line with expectations.

Images copyright Paul Karalius

Services we provided:

  • Civils & StructuresCivils & Structures
  • Transport PlanningTransport Planning

Client:

University of Leeds

We worked with:

Architect: ADP

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The Challenge

The project was technically complex due to the high technical user requirements and its constrained location on site.

Our Solution

Through our early site constraints identification process, we uncovered over a dozen constraints (tunnel containing HV and steam main, listed building foundations, relic oil tanks and chimney base, contamination, external vibration sources, adjacent site flues and an adjacent cemetery), all of which needed careful consideration on how they would impact the safe and efficient design and construction. We developed a site constraint drawing and identification schedule within our BIM Level 2 concept data environment.

In our BIM Level 2 Kitemark processes, we co-ordinated the architectural, structural and M&E design in Navisworks, which achieved the complex building design.

Sir William Henry Bragg

Project Highlights

Within the core of the building, the Bragg Centre is a significant element within this project. It houses purpose-built laboratory space offering additional cleaning room facilities, high-resolution electron microscopy, surface probe microscopy X-ray diffraction and Raman and terahertz spectroscopy.

The Astbury Bio-Structure Laboratory is an additional facility as part of the renowned Astbury Centre. New cutting-edge instruments are housed here, making it one of the leading centres for structural biology research in the UK.

Images courtisey of Paul Karalius.

Awards

  • Leeds Architecture Awards 2023 - New Buildings (over £10m) - Winner

  • RICS UK Awards 2022 - Heritage Project (Yorkshire & Humber) - Winner

  • RIBA Yorkshire Award 2022

  • RIBA Yorkshire Project Architect of the Year

  • Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2022 - Building Project of the Year - winner

  • Yorkshire Structural Engineering Awards 2022 Large Structures – Winner

  • Yorkshire Structural Engineering Awards 2022 Overall Awards – Winner

  • Civic Trust Awards 2023 - Highly Commended

  • Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2021 - Offsite Award - Highly Commended

Awards
Sir William Henry Bragg Building,
Sir William Henry Bragg

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