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New research building trend in construction
- August 20, 2019

A string of investments into new research developments and learning spaces has brought to light the recent increase in construction of university related buildings across England and Scotland, with the Oxford and Cambridge area, understandably, becoming a hotspot.

In fact, one prime example of this is the construction of two new science hubs at Begbrooke and Osney Mead in Oxford, being funded by Legal & General, with both developments providing space for a variety of scientific exploits conducted by the University of Oxford.

Legal & General have actually had designs for Oxford in sectors wider than purely the scientific and educational, their scheme proposes construction of a further 2,000 residential homes and 500 student homes, all of which could amount to a tremendous value of approximately £4Bn.

Moving on, the University of Cambridge has recently awarded contracts to SDC Construction and Aecom as the main contractor and quantity surveyor, respectively, for the new £35M Cambridge Biomedical Campus which will begin construction at the start of 2020 and continue for 18 months.

To go into more detail, the entire Oxford-Cambridge Arc is receiving a substantial amount of private investment, with scientific development becoming a newly rising area within said investment. A Bidwells report actually identified that science and technology companies around the Oxford-Cambridge area are recruiting up to 2,000 new research and development workers by 2023, all of whom will require a further 2.5Msq ft of laboratory space within the next five years.

Furthermore, tenders on the £35M Citylab 3.0 Phase 2 scheme have been returned, with the scheme comprising part of the new Biomedical Hub in Manchester’s innovation district, which is currently under development by, yet again, Legal & General in association with the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In regard to the first phase of the project, the £22M Citylab 2.0 project, Sir Robert McAlpine was appointed as the main contractor with work scheduled to continue until 2020, while work on the abovementioned Phase 2 will begin in late 2019 and last for 18 months.

Other projects of this nature include the £16.5M Advanced Forming Research Centre at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and the £54.3M Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building at the University of Warwick’s Gibbet Hill Campus in Coventry.

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