Progress on the Green Heart is advancing fast. University Square is now complete and looks glorious in the sun; have you enjoyed your lunch yet on one of our swanky new benches?
The next vital piece of work to commence will focus around the Art Buildings to enable the team to repave the pathways and former car park in this area.
From Saturday 14 July to Friday 21 September, pathways between Muirhead Tower (R21) and the Arts Building (R16) will close. There will be no public access along these pathways and as a result, building access from these pathways will also be closed. Alternative routes will be clearly signposted throughout the works. This construction has been programmed to commence after degree congregations in July 2018 and be completed before Welcome Week in September 2018.
The map below outlines the alternative routes during these works and further details can be found here. If you want to get in touch with any questions or concerns that you may have, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All alternative routes will be clearly signposted
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!
Get behind the scenes
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.
Since August 2017, University Square has been partially closed for redevelopment as part of the Green Heart project. First the east side, and then the west side. This week, we reopened the entire Square for staff, students and the local community to enjoy.
The redeveloped Square includes new lighting and benches, as well as wider, flood-proof pathways suitable for pedestrians and cyclists. We hope the new system of pathways will also ease congestion in this popular space on campus. To make the area environmentally friendly for people and wildlife, we’ve planted 13 new trees in the Square, to accompany the existing 38, which include Oaks, Limes, Redwoods and a Tulip Tree. The Square also includes the University’s first rain gardens and a variety of plants and grasses.
For a little while the Square will look a bit empty, but please bear with us. Grass reseeding is now underway, as well as additional planting, and we hope with good weather, this will flourish very soon… just in time for summer! Work will now continue on the former library and North Car Park site with the aim to open the entire parkland in late 2018 – early 2019.
A new view on campus
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visiting the External Relations team
The transformation of the first phase of University Square is now complete. Our onsite teams continued to work through the cold, snowy condition over the last week to ensure that work remained on schedule. The redeveloped space, on the east side of University Square, has had new lighting, benches and pathways installed, as well as the first of 160 new trees across the Green Heart.
Now, until June, the second phase of University Square will be transformed. Temporary pathways and ramps are now installed where appropriate and disabled access has been maintained. These new routes are highlighted in red on the map below. Areas marked in green will be under construction and inaccessible to the public. The hoardings will be removed in June and University Square will be fully accessible once more.
Our commitment to staff and students is to ensure we provide timely and accurate information about what changes are to come, and what alternative routes are best to take around campus whilst construction is taking place; including disabled access. This will be done in a variety of ways, including signage on campus, Twitter, blog posts and the Intranet; all will be regularly updated.
If you have any questions about the changes, please email the Green Heart team at email@example.com and we will be happy to help.
Find your new route
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.
What do you want to know about your new parkland?
As 2017 draws to a close, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the huge progress that the Green Heart has made this year!
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their patience and support during this time of huge change on the University’s campus.
From July, we took the first steps to creating a stunning 12 acre parkland at the heart of our historic campus; hoping to restore a 100 year old vision, as well as provide facilities for the 21st Century. After our students completed their summer exams, work began to demolish the former library (which was completed in November) and soon the east side of University Square was cordoned off to begin landscaping. Aside from the beginning of the creation of the parkland, you have also helped shape your space by partaking in our paving poll, consultations and getting involved on social media! We have also been out and about meeting staff, students and local residents to show off our plans in 360 VR and creating a host of resources for everyone to use including the Green Heart animation.
The team will be back in 2018, when we can look forward to the completion of University Square!
We would like to introduce you to the team behind the scenes at Willmott Dixon making the Green Heart a reality. Willmott Dixon are one of the UK’s leading construction contractor specialists and are using their expertise to ensure that the creation of our new parkland goes smoothly. As well as making sure that progress on site continues as planned, the team have also joined University Green Heart colleagues at Open Days and other public events to answer all your questions. They are also coordinating some fantastic work experience schemes and school’s projects to inspire the next generation of constructors.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what area of work you are interested in, and we will see how we support you in your career development.
Learning from the best