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University of Birmingham appoints Willmott Dixon

The University of Birmingham has appointed Willmott Dixon as the Main Contractor for its new School of Engineering.

This is the second contract the University has awarded to Willmott Dixon this year, bringing the value of work delivered by the contractor for the University to nearly £90M.

This new £46.5M contract will see a new home constructed for the University of Birmingham’s School of Engineering. The School of Engineering was formed by the University in January 2016 and includes the disciplines of civil engineering, mechanical engineering and electronic, electrical and systems engineering.

Highlighting the importance of the Midlands to the country’s rail development, the new building will also house the UKRRIN Rail Digital Systems Innovation Centre (DSIC): a word-leading centre of excellence and research for railway research on digital systems, focusing on matters such as railway control and simulation, and data integration and cyber security.

The relocation of the School of Engineering to this new building is part of the University’s masterplan to bring schools together on the campus creating, in this instance, an engineering hub.

The striking new building will become a signature building for the University, offering a variety of contemporary and flexible design and research spaces that act as an incubator for innovation and strengthens teaching and research partnerships. The design of the new building will allow for the School’s projected growth over the next few years.

Birmingham-based Associated Architects, has developed the project, with the building’s interior featuring exposed structural elements such as supports, pipework and services, providing a practical display of its own engineering.

Externally, it will feature a half-brick, half-clad facade to provide a strong visual impact, with visual cues taken from railway lines and trackside signalling that connects it to its core specialism.

Nick Gibb, deputy managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, said: “The new School of Engineering provides a clear visual statement for the University. It will be driving interest in the STEM subjects, something that we will be supporting ourselves through the creation of opportunities for work placements.”

Work is due to begin in August.

Willmott Dixon has just completed the University’s new research data centre, while the Teaching and Learning Building, now on site, will welcome its first intake of Year 12 students once completed in 2020.

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