The Stephenson Building at Newcastle University brings multiple engineering disciplines together under one roof in the form of a world class hub for engineering excellence and cross-disciplinary collaboration and industry partnerships. Located in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, the redeveloped building spans 198,000 square feet and features extraordinary research spaces, a student-run maker space and both specialist and multi-purpose education spaces along with technical workshops and support. With a focus on digital manufacturing, sustainable propulsion and biomedical engineering, this hub is a beacon for world leading education, research and collaboration.
The design represents a thoroughly researched blend of specialist activities with learning environments, research-rich specialist spaces and maker spaces positioned to encourage collaboration. The project, which marries a refurbished, modernized original frontage with a highly contemporary extension, focusses on turning the building ‘inside out’ by transforming an inward focused, cellular and traditional academic building into an outward facing and collaborative facility, centered around a vibrant collaborative atrium space. Exposing the structure, services and spaces inspires the engineering students in an uplifting environment that proudly expresses the building’s engineering throughout its construction.
Following the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, NORR worked with Newcastle University to develop a bespoke sustainability assessment. The use of a timber structure and CLT timber floor plates, as well as highly efficient building materials combine to create a sustainable exemplar project. The inclusion of the Biomass CHP (combined heat and power) not only helps this building be highly sustainable in its power and heat generation but also decarbonizes six additional existing buildings to achieve a net zero impact in-use. The use of One-Click LCA software is a live tracker for measuring the embodied carbon proposed in the development and helps empower our clients to consider sustainable materials for more than just their physical cost, helping justify the right sustainable decisions at each of the approval tiers within the University hierarchy. In designing from the inside out through intensive and extensive stakeholder engagement, we have created a scheme that responds intimately to the disparate and highly specific user requirements while creating a landmark gateway building for the university and the city of Newcastle upon Tyne itself.
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