Main contractor Laing O’Rourke has commenced enabling works on the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials at the University of Manchester, marking the start of construction on the £150m project.
The 170,000 sq ft building, designed by NBBJ Architects alongside a professional team of Arcadis, Arup, and Ramboll, will be the tallest on the University of Manchester’s campus at nine storeys.
The site on a plot off Booth Street between the Alan Turing Building on Upper Brook Street and the Aquatic Centre on Oxford Road has now been cleared, allowing Laing O’Rourke to begin the first phase of works.
Plans for the project were approved in February this year, with an initial completion date earmarked for 2019.
It has been backed by a £235m government fund based on a “hub-and-spoke” model, with Manchester’s development supported by satellite centres at universities in Cambridge, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Oxford, and Sheffield.
The Royce Institute will be focussed on materials research across four key areas: energy, engineering, functional, and soft materials.
Alongside the University’s Graphene Innovation Engineering Centre, also being built by Laing O’Rourke, and the already-completed National Graphene Institute, built by Bam in 2015, the Royce Institute will form part of Manchester’s Graphene City scheme.