Shepherd Construction wins £16.5m university work

Michael Hunt

University of Liverpool has picked York-based Shepherd Construction to build a new 64,000 sq ft research facility just on the outskirts of the city centre.

 New apex research facility adjacent to University of LiverpoolThe Apex facility will be built on land adjacent to the university's Bioscience Building, which is located at the junction of Crown Street and West Derby Street, and once complete it will accommodate 600 researchers who will support the university's health research into infectious diseases, cancer and digestive diseases.

The research teams that will move into the new facility are currently accommodated within the Duncan Building and the University Clinical Department Building which are part of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

The contract is worth £16.5m to Shepherd Construction, which is also involved in a joint venture to redevelop Liverpool's Central Library in William Brown Street. The university said work on the site where the research facility is being built is due to commence in August.

The new building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM 'very good' rating, with recycled materials and sustainable timber being used, and a heat recovery system is being installed to boost the sustainability rating. Manchester-based Fairhursts Design Group is the architect appointed on the project.

Steve Dickson, director of facilities management at the University of Liverpool, said: "This new facility will provide an inter-disciplinary research environment that will build on the University of Liverpool's international reputation for health research."

Shepherd Construction completed a similar project, a new centre for the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine located on the corner of London Road and Great Newton Street close to the university, in February 2008.

Allan McDougall, chief executive officer for Shepherd Construction, added: "Our experience in providing the tropical medicine research facility in Liverpool has placed us in an ideal position to deliver another world-class facility and we look forward to working closely with the University of Liverpool."

The new university building is scheduled to complete in October 2011.

The £90m development is being funded by the university and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

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