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?
The transformation of the first phase of University Square is now drawing to a close, and will be completed by mid-February (weather dependent). Since August 2017, the redeveloped space has had new lighting, benches and pathways installed, as well as the first of 160 new trees across the Green Heart.
In the coming weeks, the section of University Square closest to Staff House will be gradually cordoned off and temporary hoardings will be installed by mid-February (weather dependent). Temporary pathways and ramps will be installed where appropriate and disabled access will be 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
Get to know your new routes now
Progress on the Green Heart is about to step up a gear over the next 2 weeks, so we thought we’d give you an update, so you are clued up on what is to come.
The Green Heart team from Willmott Dixon are hurtling towards the completion of phase 1 of University Square. The paving is being completed, new benches are in position, timber lamp columns are going in and topsoil has now been placed ready before the start of phase 2 mid-February.
Most excitedly, a delegation from the site team and designers are heading over to Ireland for a factory visit to check on the quality and progress of the pre-cast bridge which will sit in the parkland. Meanwhile, preparation for the bridge’s arrival continue; we are currently reinforcing and waterproofing the services ‘subway’ that forms the foundations for the bridge and café in front of Muirhead Tower. Watch our animation to see where the bridge will be placed. Finally, at the north of the site, the removal of surplus soil to form the amphitheatre continues.
Elsewhere on campus, the skyline has a new addition, a huge tower crane behind the Old Gym. It was put up last weekend, and when the rigging is complete, will be ready for the next stage of the project extending the upper floors over the sports hall roof.
That’s one big crane!
This week saw the arrival of new benches as part of phase 1 of the Green Heart. The benches have been installed on the patterned paving circles, nicknamed ‘hubs’, along the new pathways currently being laid; find out how you helped to pave the Green Heart here.
The benches have been made by a small manufacturer in Sheffield, Bramhall 1840 Ltd, to a bespoke design for the Green Heart. They also include integrated LED lighting underneath the seats to enhance visibility at night. The inclusion of increased seating areas and improved lighting were both suggestions which arose through the University’s consultations prior to the project’s launch.
For the meantime, the benches have been covered by blue wrappers to keep them safe. We are also gearing up for phase 2 of University Square’s transformation, which will begin later this month, as materials such as benches and stone begin to arrive onsite.
These look comfortable!
All wrapped up and safe
The first phase of Green Heart development in University Square is well underway, and will be completed in February. We will then landscape the area of University Square closest to Staff House. During this time old pathways have been changed or removed, and new pathways have been created. Thanks to your feedback, we have improved accessibility in University Square.
- We’ve added a new pathway that runs along the current hoardings, which means you don’t have to go all the way around to get from one side of University Square to the other.
Get from A to B quicker
2. We’ve added more vinyl pads across grass areas, which means you get less muddy and there’s less congestion in this area.
No more wading through the mud
3. We’ve added a new pathway across the cobbled entrance to University Square, making it easier for those with specific accessibility needs to travel in this area and gain access to the ramp.
No more cobbles
We can continue to make changes with your help. If you think accessibility could be improved further in specific area, please get in touch at email@example.com and we will get to work.
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.
Get a sneak peek behind the scenes on our construction sites
With Christmas in the rear view mirror, and spring (somewhere) on the horizon, perhaps now is the time to consider changing how you travel to work? Lots of New Year’s resolutions revolve around getting fit and healthy, saving money or living more environmentally friendly. Cycling to work ticks all the boxes and the Universities Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator Peter Edwards is here to help you get started.
The Sustainable Travel team operate a staff bike loan scheme that enables you to borrow a hybrid bike for a minimum of 4 weeks complete with lights, a lock and even a helmet. We can even help you plan a route using quieter roads, off-road routes and shared use paths if you want to avoid busy roads. We have 7 bikes in total with a wide range of sizes suitable for men and women.
Join the team
In the last year more than 30 members of staff have loaned bikes and lots have gone on to buy their own bike via our salary sacrifice Cyclescheme.
‘Never before would I have considered cycling as a viable and enjoyable means of commuting to and from work’ Andrew (Business School)
‘I think the scheme is fantastic. I’ve gone from a really nervous cyclist to really loving it and have now bought my own bike to ride to work’ Hannah (DARO)
The University is well placed to cycle to with the canal (although closed from next week for improvements), shared use paths all along Bristol Road and not far from the scenic Rea Valley and Bournbrook routes. Cycling to work will help you live healthily, arrive refreshed and ready for work, live longer and save money (especially if you’ve got a free loan bike) so why not give it a try? You’ll even be able to park right outside your office! To find out more, get in touch with the team today.