Contractor Galliford Try has started construction of the new 123,500 sq ft Chemical Engineering Building for Manchester University.
The £30m project will be built in two phases and is part of the university's £650m estates redevelopment programme. The £16m first phase of the new building is due for completion in the autumn of 2011 on the corner of Booth Street East and Upper Brook Street.
The chemical engineering department at the university has 650 undergraduates and 130 taught masters students and this number is due to increase.
Prof Mike Sutcliffe, head of the school, said: "As one of a small group of elite chemical engineering departments within the UK, it is vital we have the facilities to match.
"Our broad research base in which engineers and scientists work seamlessly together enables us to study the design, operation and integration of different complex systems – particularly industrial, biological, and instrumentation – and apply chemical engineering in a 21st century context."
The new building was designed by Manchester-based architects Halliday Meecham. The practice has had 30 commissions in four years from Manchester University.
The rest of the project team is made up of quantity surveyors Gleeds, M&E consultants Jacobs Engineering UK, structural engineers WYG Engineering, project managers Davis Langdon, CDM Coordinators KOK and acoustic engineers Sandy Brown.