Salford SEE Building completion Image p Infuential

The four-storey building has opened in time for this academic year. Credit: via Influential

Completion for Salford Uni’s £65m science block

Main contractor Morgan Sindall Construction has handed over the 167,000 sq ft Science, Engineering and Environment (SEE) Building, part of the Salford Crescent and University District masterplan.

The four-storey building houses several research and teaching laboratories for the University of Salford’s work in physics, electronics, composites, chemical vapour deposition, and other sciences.

It also features a wind tunnel, previously located at Salford Innovation Research Centre (SIRC), high-spec laser laboratories, and 154 roof-mounted photovoltaic panels that generate renewable energy for the building.

The £65m project won planning consent in March 2020 and contractors worked on site throughout most of the pandemic. Now, following completion, the facility will welcome university students and researchers in time for the start of the academic year.

The SEE Building is located on the Peel Park Campus next to the New Adelphi building and opposite the university’s faith centre. Before construction, the site had lain vacant following demolition of the Horlock and Constantine student accommodation blocks.

The project was intended to provide a home for the School of Computing, Science and Engineering, the School of the Built Environment, and the School of Environmental Life Sciences, which have now merged into a single department: the School of Science, Engineering and Environment.

SEE forms part of the University of Salford’s wider masterplan, which aims to upgrade the campus and create a new city district in Salford to improve the student experience and support future growth and investment.

It also forms part of Salford City Council’s Salford Crescent and University District masterplan, which maps opportunities to develop 1m sq ft of educational floorspace, 6m sq ft of commercial uses focussed on industrial growth sectors, 2m sq ft of public realm as well as landscaped routes  and cycleways, and 2,500 homes and apartments.

As well as Morgan Sindall Construction, the build team included project manager Faithful + Gould, architect Sheppard Robson and engineering firm Arup. Elsewhere on the campus, Morgan Sindall is also building the University’s North of England Robotics Innovation Centre.

“The SEE Building itself will unlock potential for future generations, while the construction of it has simultaneously allowed for real economic benefits in the surrounding area,” said Shaun Jones, Greater Manchester area director of Morgan Sindall Construction.

“We’re excited to be handing over the new building on schedule, providing a sustainable new home for the university’s engineering, environment and scientific researchers and students. It’s been a privilege to work so closely with the University of Salford and we look forward to furthering our partnership as our work at NERIC continues.”

Jason Challender, director of estates and facilities at The University of Salford, said: “We are proud to open the new SEE Building for our students and staff. It is an outstanding new-build that is 100% electric-powered and underpinned by sustainable, intelligent design.

“Because the team tailored each level of the building to accommodate different uses, we also have an extremely flexible space that will serve the university for years to come.”

The building was designed to “express the school’s industrious and explorative spirit, with the flexible, all-electric building delivering on the sustainability targets that underpinned the design from the start”, added Sheppard Robson partner Alex Solk.

“Our design houses an extraordinary range of spaces for invention, weaving together specialist facilities alongside areas for agile working. It’s been thrilling to see this building take shape.”

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