Work is underway on the new flagship building at Nottingham Trent University’s Brackenhurst Campus – a main reception and adjoining state-of-the-art environment centre.
The facility is central to the University’s ambitious new vision for Brackenhurst – home to the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.Professor Robert Mortimer, dean of the school, said: “Commencement of this building marks an important milestone for the development of our campus.
“It is the central component of our five-year plan to transform the campus. It will deliver an iconic gateway building to provide a sense of arrival on campus, to host events, and to support excellence in research and teaching in the broad area of sustainability.”
The building, which is due to open for September 2019, will include a reception, with a prominent entrance, acting as a welcoming focal point to the campus.
The environment centre, adjoined by a linking entrance foyer, will provide world-class teaching, learning and research into major global challenges around the environment, ecology and conservation.
The centre is the first step in the university’s ambition to open up Brackenhurst as a visitor attraction.
Exhibition and information space will showcase campus research, teaching and activities to staff, students and members of the public. It will also include a café and dining area, a 200-seat lecture theatre with retractable seating, staff offices and state-of-the-art teaching and research rooms.
The eco-friendly design, with sloping hipped roofs to complement the adjacent Brackenhurst Hall, includes a mezzanine and roof garden and external spaces for staff and students to cultivate.
The main contractor for the REC project is Clegg Construction Ltd, while Faithful+Gould are acting as external project manager and quantity surveyors.
The University revealed its new vision for Brackenhurst in 2016. Ambitious plans as part of the five-year redevelopment also include the redevelopment of equine, canine and animal facilities, and additional student accommodation.
As well as enhancing teaching and research, the campus will become a centre for commercialisation, enterprise, networking and skills provision – a gateway to services and training for rural businesses.
And the University wants to attract more visitors to Brackenhurst so they can walk through and explore the campus and see the range of facilities, activities and opportunities on offer.
The redevelopment will also help the University to build upon its impressive sustainability credentials and to showcase the campus as an integrated working farm and university, focused on a sustainable and carbon-neutral future.
Work so far has included refurbishment of Brackenhurst Farm to provide new student social space, refurbishment of the orangery and the creation of a larger teaching laboratory in the Bramley Building.
The university also opened a new world-class poultry research unit – one of just a handful of its kind in Europe – in November 2017. This purpose-built facility focuses on improving the nutrition, welfare and sustainability of poultry production.
The Brackenhurst Campus has been a provider of land-based education and skills training for more than half a century. It offers specialist courses spanning animal and equine science, ecology and wildlife conservation, veterinary nursing, geography, horticulture, environmental science, and food science and technology.