The new contract brings the total value of the contractor’s current workload for the university to nearly £90m. It is also building its ‘Green Heart’ student centre and a data centre and it is converting an old gym into a teaching block.
The School of Engineering was formed by the University of Birmingham in January 2016. Its new building will also be home to a railways research centre, called the UKRRIN Rail Digital Systems Innovation Centre (DSIC).
Designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects, the building’s interior will feature exposed structural elements such as supports, pipework and services, providing a practical display of its own engineering.
Externally, it will feature a half-brick, half-clad façade. The architects are said to have taken their inspiration from railway lines and trackside signalling to connect it to the faculty’s core specialism.
The project was procured through the Constructing West Midlands Framework and Willmott Dixon starts work in August.
Nick Gibb, deputy managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, said: “The new School of Engineering provides a clear visual statement for the University. It will be driving interest in the STEM subjects, something that we will be supporting ourselves through the creation of opportunities for work placements.”
University of Birmingham project manager Daniel Holmes said: “This new building represents a celebration of engineering and will be a centrepiece of our new engineering hub. The ongoing collaborative relationship that we have with Willmott Dixon, along with the quality of delivery of their completed projects, gives us significant confidence that they will deliver this landmark building.”
Willmott Dixon has just completed the university’s new research data centre, while the Teaching & Learning Building, now on site, is expected to be completed in 2020.