Identity Consult were appointed as Project Managers, Cost Consultant and Employer’s Agents to lead the delivery of the Sciences Complex redevelopment which formed a key part of a cultural change project for the Faculty of Applied Sciences, refurbishing existing Science teaching areas into a World Class Sciences Complex.
The £25m overall redevelopment consists of the refurbishment to the University’s Science laboratories, office and CPD space and the creation of new IT facilities and social interaction space. The project was coupled with the organisational change within the Faculty to provide more visible and integrated access to Academics through the creation of Academic Hubs, staff/student social areas, and to create more efficient space utilisation of both laboratory and office space to achieve a 15% efficiency in space reduction.
The Sciences Complex included the creation of both general multipurpose Science Laboratories, as well as specialist fume cupboard laboratories and a very highly serviced Analytical Laboratory. Other key learning spaces created were dedicated IT seminar suites, open access IT provision, a Problem Based Learning suite offering an alternative teaching environment, and specialist group working environments. To complete the learning environments, the Sports Sciences laboratories were upgraded to meet the needs of a modern academic course.
The funding for the Sciences Complex Project Phase I was split between ERDF and University capital funds, which added complexity to the normal University project programme.
Phase II was funded by HEFCE STEM funding, which was only awarded in late December 2014, was required to be spent from April 2015 to March 2016, leaving very little time for design in order to achieve these spend profiles. Identity Consult developed a bespoke programme and governance strategy with the University in order to achieve cost certainty prior to contract, manage a stage approval process and to allow the University to understand their risks and financial exposure at each Gateway in order to maintain the fast track design programme.