Celebrate good times!

To celebrate reaching 1,000 followers on the University of Birmingham’s Green Heart Twitter account, the team are offering our followers the chance to get behind the scenes at the University of Birmingham’s most ambitious estates project.

Join us from next week for a free, exclusive tour, behind the hoardings of the University’s 12-acre parkland. Find out how we’re building a new space centred around you through innovative landscaping and architecture before we open at the end of this year.

There are four tour slots to choose from but, you’ll need to book up fast before spaces go!

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Get behind the scenes

The Green Heart team on the road

The Green Heart team will be making a very special appearance at the University’s Birmingham Prom on Saturday 9 June! Bring your family and friends for a free evening of spectacular entertainment, at the heart of campus, in Chancellor’s Court. With music from the University’s talented Orchestra and Choir, you’ll be blown away  by an outstanding  programme of well-known classical, Broadway and film scores. Gates open from 18:00 with music on the Main Stage from 19:30. There will also be a range of food and drink available, or bring your own picnic. Make sure you join us early and grab your perfect spot before it gets busy.

This year, the Green Heart team and its contractors, Mace and Willmott Dixon, will be sponsoring the Prom. As part of this, we will be making a very important announcement about your parkland and its official opening. We will also be giving everyone the chance to win one of three exclusive University prize bundles as part of our announcement; so make sure you join us!

Book your free tickets now.

Meet the Green Heart team

Work on the Green Heart is progressing fast. University Square is on track to fully reopen in June 2018 and the majority of works across the entire 12 acres will be completed and open in November 2018! We’ll be adding the final touches to the parkland in the first few months of 2019.

With work progressing so rapidly, there will appear to be more change on campus than ever. There will also be lots of interesting engineering and architectural work taking place, both beneath, and overground. As a result, you and your colleagues at the University may have some questions for the Green Heart team. Although you can contact us on greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk and Twitter, why not come and meet us face-to-face?

We’ve been touring the University with our key contractors, Willmott Dixon, delivering presentations and answering questions. As well as our termly Open Forums, if you would like us to visit your team and deliver a bespoke presentation, email us on greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

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Visiting the External Relations team

Green Heart Open Forums

This year, progress surrounding the Green Heart will rapidly advance with the completion of University Square, and work on the former library site taking shape. We are hosting Open Forums throughout 2018 to give staff and students the opportunity to find out more.

Hosted across the Edgbaston campus, the sessions will give you the opportunity to discover more about the project’s development from chief architects, Churchman Landscape Architects, key contractors, Willmott Dixon and the University’s project team. Each Forum will also conclude with Q&As from the audience, giving you the chance to ask the questions most important to you. The first Forum will be held on:

  • Friday 9 March
  • Arts Building Lecture Room 6 (R16)
  • 14:00 – 15:00
  • Refreshments provided

Keep an eye on our webpage for all up and coming Open Forums.

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What do you want to know about your new parkland?

Open Doors 2018

Every year, major construction sites across the country offer the unique chance for the public to go behind the scenes and discover how these structures are changing our landscapes and communities. Open Doors 2018 takes place from Monday 19 – Saturday 24 March 2018 and one of the University’s key contractors, Willmott Dixon, will be opening three sites on campus to students, staff and the local community: the Green Heart, Park Grange Data Centre and the conversion of the old gymnasium.

On 22 and 23 March you have the opportunity to book onto a free tour where you will get to see the beginning of the Green Heart’s second phase of works, Park Grange Data Centre’s external works and engineering fit out and the erecting of the steel-frame and cladding of the old gymnasium. So whether you’re a budding engineer, live in the local area or just interested in finding out what’s going on across campus, make sure you join us.

Places are limited, so book your spot today. Registration ends on 23 February.

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Get a sneak peek behind the scenes on our construction sites

A tree-umph on campus

On 28 November, the Green Heart Project team held a ceremony to celebrate the first of 160 new trees arriving on campus. To ensure that the parkland is in keeping with the campus’ more established greenery, trees of different growth rates, from semi-mature to mature, were selected to be planted. Therefore, University Square now has a new selection of trees between 5-7 metres to compliment the scenery.

Aside from 160 new trees, and protecting 144 existing trees, the Green Heart will bring an array of wild flowers and lush grass areas 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. Water features will also provide a relaxing audio backdrop, be a natural source of drainage management and further attract wildlife. All this means that the Green Heart will be a serene area for both wildlife and people.

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What a tree-tastic event!

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