Welcome to the blog for the Green Heart project at the University of Birmingham. We are creating a striking new parkland in the centre of the University’s historic campus; transforming it for the 21st Century and beyond. Construction work began in early 2017, and the Green Heart will be completed late 2018 – early 2019.
Measuring over 12 acres, the Green Heart will open up the centre of campus for students, staff and the local community to enjoy. It will provide a multi-use space for performances, events and markets, while opening up views across the whole campus, as envisaged in the 1920s. The space will also enhance the setting of those buildings which border the Green Heart, including the University’s main library which opened in September 2016. It will open up new pedestrian and cycle routes, allowing students, staff and visitors to move across campus with ease. There will also be areas to showcase the University’s art collections, as well as a new café, and improved signage and access to information.
The new space will also be a sustainable, natural and environmentally friendly landscape; both for people and wildlife. The Green Heart will bring an array of wild flowers and native plants to campus. These have been carefully selected to encourage local species, and we will be incorporating nesting sites to attract wildlife including bats, swifts and hedgehogs. As well as lush grass areas, we will plant 160 new trees, across 42 species, and protect 144 existing trees. This tapestry of colour and textures will improve air quality, provide shade and create a place of serenity. Water features will also provide a relaxing audio backdrop, be a natural source of drainage management and further attract wildlife.
We’ve also appointed lighting experts to develop zoned lighting which will incorporate timber columns and energy-saving techniques to complement the natural environment. Carefully managed systems will enable us to keep campus safe and bright, while delivering an ambient environment and minimising light pollution or waste. We are also incorporating energy generating paving which produces power when people walk across it, and rain gardens, which will accommodate all rainwater on-site, thus doing away with conventional drains.
Be part of the Green Heart journey here.
UoB Green Heart team