School of Management, University of Bath

Bouygues UK was chosen to deliver the new School of Management building for the University of Bath at its Claverton Down campus on the outskirts of the historic city of Bath. The landmark seven-storey building accommodates students and staff in state-of-the-art facilities; supporting the university to attract increased numbers of post-graduate students.

Before the construction of this new facility, the School of Management utilised various buildings across the campus amounting to a total gross area of 5,215m2. This dispersed arrangement is not the most convenient system for the School, often cultivating inefficiencies in operation and fragmentation between faculty divisions. The construction of the new School of Management was therefore central to an enhanced environment for students, staff and visitors.

£44.5
million
142
offices
17
metre steel truss

The new School of Management will enable high-quality interaction between faculty, staff, industry and students.  The building also integrates the latest technology enabling the University to begin teaching differently, facilitating world-class research and encouraging greater interaction between colleagues.

Constructed on a sloping site, the building incorporates a sizable basement, which houses the main lecture theatre as well as FM services. The split-level ground and first floors incorporate a cafeteria and communal social and study spaces within the south facing green-roof pavilion; a light and airy space with views of the southern terrace and parkland beyond.

A range of lecture theatres is housed on the first floor including a Harvard style theatre and ICT lecture room. Levels two, three and four house 142 offices, which are located on the periphery of the building to benefit from natural light and ventilation. The main reception can be accessed via the public realm area at the northern elevation on the building’s first floor. The foyer contains media screens and leads through to the expansive glazed atrium to the south.

The atrium features an impressive steel staircase, which rises from ground to level five as well as a 17-metre eight-tonne prefabricated truss that fronts the floor to ceiling windows, allowing sunlight to pour into the heart of the building, bringing the whole space alive.

The logistics of receiving this immense truss to site safely was an item that required extensive stakeholder engagement. All parties (truss manufacturer, client team, university estates department, local authorities’ transportation department, emergency services) were brought together to discuss, review and approve the delivery and receipt strategy. The load was safely delivered from Taunton to site with the help of a police escort for on-time installation in line with the programme.

17-metre eight-tonne prefabricated truss

In addition to the construction of the building, Bouygues UK has undertaken extensive public realm works to the north and south, creating an additional highway for deliveries and re-instating parkland to the south. The team have also reinstated the important parkland around the building, as well as incorporating a green roof to the pavilion.

Challenges

  • Coordinating our superstructure works with the works of a third-party basement substructure contractor
  • Constrained site with complex logistics
  • Impact of BREXIT on supply chain and programme 
  • COVID-19 impact on Programme

Bouygues UK won the Digital Innovation award at the 2021 Construction Excellence Awards (South West) for implementation and use of Holobuilder on the School of Management project.

When it became apparent that the Covid-19 pandemic was going to pose significant risks in terms of potential site closures, cost implications and time delays, the site team needed to be agile in its approach towards mitigating these impacts.

Amongst the initiatives investigated was HoloBuilder, an innovative cloud-based digital imagery platform providing a streamlined method of documenting on site progress visually, giving greater numbers of project staff the ability to maintain on-time works progress remotely.

The impact on the works since implementing HoloBuilder in June 2020 were extremely positive. HoloBuilder has been simple to integrate, required minimal training time and has served to provide additional cost, time-saving and environmental benefits alongside its ability to help us maintain on time works progress and quality with a restricted site presence.