The concept for the Green Heart was conceived in 2011. At that time, the University was investigating how to redevelop the institution’s library services to enhance modern education and teaching. Lengthy consideration was given to options to redevelop and repurpose the existing library at the centre of the Edgbaston campus. But, costs aside, there were limitations to how much could be done to improve and expand the building itself, and the library’s infrastructure was rapidly deteriorating, meaning it required 24-hour running and maintenance.
It was agreed that the University’s students, staff and researchers deserved a state-of-the-art facility fit for the 21st Century and beyond. The new Library was completed in September 2016. As a result, the former library would be removed, meaning that opening up the centre of campus once again became a very real possibility; the Green Heart was born.
The project is led by a University of Birmingham task group which brings together Estates, the Guild, External Relations, HAS, Finance and IT; with academic representation. We are also working in collaboration with award-winning designers including: Churchman Landscape Architects, lighting specialists Speirs + Major, Associated Architects, Arup structural and civil engineers and Couch Perry Wilkes services engineers.
Building the Green Heart was always driven by a desire to build a new space centred around our students, staff and local community. From May 2016, the University undertook extensive consultations in collaboration with Nomad RDC Ltd. These were undertaken to thoroughly understand the needs of our stakeholders and ensure that the Green Heart included what they wanted. These suggestions were explored and incorporated into the Green Heart vision, and those Green Heart Consultation Results were released in March 2017 as project work gathered pace.
From early 2017, work began to create the Green Heart, beginning with the demolition of the former library. The former library will be taken down after the summer exam period, and should be completely dismantled before the start of the autumn term. The construction of the Green Heart will take place over two stages: the North Car Park and University Square. North Car Park will close permanently in July and plans to transform University Square will commence from July also. The planned schedule for the completion of the Green Heart is 2019. Watch the journey unfold on our webcam!
Be part of the Green Heart journey here.
UoB Green Heart team