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!


Get behind the scenes

Developing the library terrace

With the opening of University Square in May, work to complete the Green Heart by late 2018 – early 2019 is progressing quickly. Over the next few weeks work will commence adjacent to the library terrace to connect the Square and library to the rest of the Green Heart. We hope these works will take a few weeks to complete over the summer. During this time we will be:

  1. Removing the bamboo area and creating a compound so works can take place safely.
  2. Laying new paving around the steps but, one side of the steps will always be accessible and the ramp will remain open during these works.
  3. Replacing the ramp (once step 2 is completed) with an accessible pathway that connects to the Green Heart.

Once we’re done, this new area will provide additional terrace space alongside a connected and fully accessible pathway. If you have any questions, or comments during these works, please contact us on greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk.


Improving your library terrace

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.

University Square reopened

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

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.


Visiting the External Relations team

Reducing disruption during the exam period

Exams are fast approaching and we are committed to ensuring that disruption is minimised between now and the beginning of June. Working with Willmott Dixon, we have implemented a series of actions that should reduce disruption as much as possible.

  1. We deliberately programmed the noisier and more disruptive work to be completed before the start of the Summer Term (e.g. the bridge). Now that term has started, quieter works are now taking place.
  2. We have relocated noisier activities, such as slab cutting and concrete mixing, away from the centre of campus and key exam spaces. For noisier work that has to take place in the Green Heart, we are installing acoustic booths around that work to reduce impact.
  3. We will be working at all times to keep things as quiet as possible, but we are also focusing specifically on exam times themselves. Using the exam timetable, we are ensuring that there is particular care taken to keep disruption minimal while each exam is taking place.
  4. We are also installing sound monitoring stations around the perimeter of the Green Heart site. This will warn the team if the noise reaches certain levels, and a protocol is in place to reduce noise straight away if needed.

We’re continuing to work with the exams office to respond quickly and effectively to any issues raised by students or staff during the coming weeks. If you have any questions or concerns about the Green Heart during this time, please contact us on greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Finally, from everyone in the Green Heart team, we’d like to wish our students the very best of luck in their exams.


Good luck to all our students from the Green Heart team

Second phase of Green Heart begins

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, Twitterblog posts and the Intranet; all will be regularly updated.

If you have any questions about the changes, please email the Green Heart team at greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk and we will be happy to help.

PF2770 Green Heart - University Square Phase 2 - from 19 February 2018 v...

Find your new route