Did you get your copy?

We recently delivered the University’s community magazine to over 40,000 households in the local area. Did you get your copy of Community Buzz through the letterbox if you live nearby? If you didn’t, don’t worry, you can download your copy of Community Buzz Autumn 2017 now!

The magazine is teeming with the latest University news, events, and research and educational highlights. Make sure you save the date for the 2018 Art & Science Festival and why not book onto one of our exciting cultural tours. Also find out how our students are making a difference in the local community and transforming lives; it’s all in the magazine and much more. Our very own Green Heart project also features, discussing how we will restore a 100 year old vision by 2019.

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Download your free copy today!

Let’s get bikes on campus!

The University of Birmingham has launched an ambitious crowdfunding campaign to bring a free cycle hire scheme to campus. Think ‘Boris Bikes’: As part of a national competition, the University has been shortlisted along with four others to compete for the scheme which will transform the way students, staff and the local community travel across campus.

The University needs to raise at least £47,000 through crowdfunding in order to win an investment of £100,000 from Santander to get the scheme up and running. This would establish 8 bike stations at locations across campus and 50 bikes from the outset.

Since launching yesterday, the campaign has already gained 41 supporters and raised 33% of its target!

Can you help the University bring bikes to campus? You can access the crowdfunding campaign online and make a contribution. A contribution as little as £5 can get you a reward to mark your involvement with the programme. You have until 8 December to make this ambitious scheme a reality! Show your support by using #bikesforbrum.

#bikesforbrum from The University of Birmingham on Vimeo.

 

Developing opportunities for our students

University of Birmingham Geography Student Eva Corley is interested in a career in Landscape Architecture, so when she got in contact with the Green Heart team, we put her in touch with our site teams.

Eva has been working with Chris Churchman from Churchman Landscape Architects for the last month, learning the tricks of the trade and developing her skills for a successful future career. She will continue her experience throughout her studies, having the opportunity to under tasks across a range of mini-projects and teams.

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Eva and Chris immersed in landscape drawing

Chris will also set Eva up on her own project, redesigning one of the University’s lodge gardens! We asked Eva how she was getting on:

My experience so far working with the Green Heart team has been a fascinating insight into all the work going on behind the construction site. I have experienced the complicated process of undergoing such a large and prestigious landscaping project, including working with a landscape architect which will undoubtedly help me to pursue my career aspirations. Everyone has been very friendly and supportive which has given me confidence and motivation to keep working towards my goals. 

Are you a UoB student interested in work experience with the Green Heart? Please email the team at greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk and tell us what area of work you are interested in, and we will see how we support you in your career development.

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Learning from the best

Unveiling our Estates Strategy… Phase 2

The University of Birmingham’s Estates Strategy capital masterplan, which cover the five-year period 2016-2012, is well underway, and has seen the opening of the Library and the Sport & Fitness Club, among other projects. The University has now announced Phase 2 of this plan, which outlines new projects between 2022 – 2026.

Phase 2 continues to focus on our students, with a significant academic building being delivered every year for five years, starting in 2018 with the completion of the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL), which will transform science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning. There are also four other new flagship projects as part of the new phase:

  • A new teaching and learning facility, which will be a hub for education. The building will provide a large lecture theatre and an interactive lecture theatre with supporting social space to support the modern learning experience at Birmingham.
  • The new School of Engineering, due for completion in 2020, will bring together all of our engineering disciplines into one state-of-the-art building. It will incorporate a new centre of excellence in rail innovation, bringing industry into the heart of our campus.
  • The new Molecular Sciences Building will be a focal point for strengthening our core research capabilities in the chemical, environmental and bio-molecular sciences. A designated hub for the School of Chemistry will be created and office and laboratory accommodation will be provided for existing School academic staff and researchers.
  • An extension to the University Business School will provide much needed facilities to a successful and growing centre of excellence, allowing the majority of its activities to take place in one building from 2019.

In total, these projects represent an investment of more than £200m as part of the £606m total investment in the Estate in the coming years, using a mixed model of funding. The total includes a proportion of private investment, reflecting the strong financial position the University is in. This ambitious programme is part of the important role we have in celebrating, protecting and upgrading University buildings for the benefit of students and the academic community, building on the history of the institution.

Find out more about what the University of Birmingham is developing in our Estates Strategy brochure.

Inspiring the next generation

On 30 September, Willmott Dixon’s Green Heart Project Team stepped outside their normal roles to host the first site visit for Year 8 pupils from University of Birmingham School.

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First site visit

The visit of 30 pupils is part of an enrichment programme developed by the Team as a Corporate Partner to UoB School. The programme is part of their wider community engagement delivered as the University of Birmingham’s Construction Partner supporting the work done by the University’s Team promoting the project.

The curriculum enrichment programme developed with the School uses the Green Heart as a demonstration project to introduce pupils to construction and the wide range of careers in the industry.

The programme of 5 weekly sessions will ultimately see 120 pupils introduced to the Green Heart Project, the Team and visiting the live site.

Members of the Willmott Dixon Team are taking the pupils through their roles and, using the animations and BIM, showcasing some of the less well known career opportunities offered by the construction industry.

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Finding out about the Green Heart

The Green Heart Bridge has provided a great focus for project activities. Groups have designed; built and costed a bridge of their own and in the last week will come together as one team to build a full size bridge provided by the Institute of Civil Engineers.

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Could you build and cost a bridge?

Accessibility in University Square

Landscaping the first phase of University Square is now thoroughly underway with hoardings constructed, trees protected and old paving pulled up ready for the installation of sparkly new slabs (please note: they won’t actually be sparkly!) In November, we will be bringing an array of new trees to the site for planting.

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Phase 1 of landscaping

But, as a result, many of the old pathways have now become inaccessible. To ensure that everyone can navigate around University Square safely and easily, temporary pathways and ramps have been constructed. All these routes will be clearly signposted. The diagram below outlines there location.

We have worked with colleagues with specific accessibility needs to guarantee that they are prepared for the changes. If you have any specific requirements or concerns around accessibility due to disability or visual impairment, please email the Green Heart team at greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk and we will be happy to help.

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New pathway

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Please read the signs

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New ramp

Restoring the University Crests

You may have noticed that a key feature at the heart of our historic campus is slowly being removed. Namely, the University Crests, which sit above the entrance of the former library. But, never fear, they will be back!

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Off to the restorers 

On 26 June, scaffolding was erected on the front facade of the former library to enable the continued demolition of the site. They are also being used to enable specialists to remove the University Crests. They are currently being safely packed to be sent to expert restorers who will return the Crests to their former glory. They will then be incorporated back at the ‘heart’ of campus in the Green Heart in 2019. If you watch our animation, you’ll spot them at the end of the video.

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The Crests will be back in 2019 as part of the Green Heart

Did you know… the original University coat of arms was designed in 1900 and its symbols, a double headed lion and a mermaid holding a mirror and comb, are an echo of the institution’s predecessor coat of arms, Mason College. The shields at the top of the former library were chiseled directly into the stone on the building during its construction in 1958.

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Chiseling away in 1958