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Piazza Learning Centre, University of York

Piazza Learning Centre, University of York

Piazza Learning Centre, University of York

A new-build teaching facility for the University of York on the Heslington East Campus.

Piazza Learning Centre, University of YorkThe stunning University of York Piazza Learning Centre is the new home to the International Pathways College. This unique project is a game changer for the University, strengthening its position within the growing international student market and a key part of its masterplan to reinstate its position within the world’s top 100 universities.

The quality and design of the building is world-class; rich in technology, sustainable and highly efficient to operate, providing an inspirational environment for students and academic staff. The wealth of facilities includes 36 classrooms, 350-seat auditorium, 100-seat lecture theatre, staff areas, offices and a 350-seat restaurant.

The project utilised BIM Level 2 and a dedicated ‘BIM Station’ was provided on site to allow all personnel to access the model. A 3D scan of the steel frame was undertaken which allowed the team to identify any potential clashes and design them out early in the build process.

The project was safely completed within a busy campus with 16,000 students and staff, as well as other construction works, on the doorstep. The project was delivered with no reportable accidents and excelled, scoring a 10/10 for health and safety through the independent Considerate Constructors Scheme.

During the preconstruction stage early contractor involvement helped harness the expertise of specialist suppliers, enabling the team to identify and implement over £1m of savings to make the scheme affordable and viable, without affecting the functionality or aesthetics of the building. A united team was formed early through partnering workshops and the award of back-to-back contracts with key subcontractors, the selection emphasis firmly on added value.

An ambitious community investment plan helped maximise apprentice, training, employment and local supply chain opportunities. Outcomes included;

  • 8 new jobs created, including 4 new apprenticeships
  • Supporting 161 apprentice weeks on site
  • 82% orders placed locally
  • Contributing £38.2 million to the local economy

The project was used to promote the industry, welcoming nearly 500 visitors to site during the construction phase, including the Chartered Institute of Building, AUDE and Women in Property Group, and taking part in the Build UK Open Doors event.

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