Construction of the largest home for engineering in any UK university has been completed. With the conclusion of the base build phase, the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) was handed over to the University of Manchester on Friday, 14 May 2021.
Delivered by a collaborative team of builders, architects and engineers, MECD represents the single largest construction project ever completed by a higher education institution in the UK. Our Sheffield education team provided detailed design during the technical and construction stages.
MECD will provide world-class sustainable research facilities, alongside flexible and innovative teaching and learning spaces that will enable students to shape their own learning environment. It will house a community of 8,000 students, researchers, academics and professional services staff and will be the largest concentration of interdisciplinary engineering expertise in any UK university.
The development incorporates a number of existing and new buildings: the eight-storey 80,000sqm Engineering Building A; Engineering Building B and the James Chadwick Building (on Upper Brook Street); refurbished Grade II listed Oddfellows Hall and the York Street Building. MECD is home to purpose-designed blended lecture theatres, teaching laboratories, student workshops and a range of spaces to support our ambitious outreach and social engagement initiatives.
The development also provides a new events square, designed by our landscape architecture team, featuring high quality public realm maximising the green space and providing a high number of new trees integrating the new buildings into the bustling heart of the University of Manchester campus along Oxford Road.
The university is committed to environmental sustainability, with MECD the first project to appoint a dedicated Environmental Sustainability Advisor to develop and drive the university’s comprehensive sustainability targets throughout the project’s life cycle, including a BREEAM Excellent rating, a new active travel hub and green roof.
MECD is part of a world-class research and innovation hub and immediately adjacent to two flagship centres of excellence – the National Graphene Institute and the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s national institute for advanced materials research and innovation. The University of Manchester is ranked as the world number one in the the Impact Rankings and this investment will ensure that Manchester continues to be at the forefront of delivering world-class research.
Architect Associate Paul Owen, said: “The challenge for a project of this scale is to deliver a huge variety of adaptable spaces that support world-leading research, whilst encouraging cross-discipline collaboration and development in a city centre location. The result is a vibrant collaborative environment that supports multiple research methods. We are sure it will inspire future generations of engineers and material scientists to pioneer amazing discoveries.”
Director of Estates at The University of Manchester, Diana Hampson, added: “This is a hugely significant milestone for MECD and we are delighted that the initial construction phase is now complete. MECD will create facilities that will put the university at the forefront of engineering globally, and we are proud to provide such an exceptional space for our exceptional people. We’d also like to thank all the various partners and stakeholders in getting us to this point; it really has been a hugely collaborative effort.”