A new heart for an ambitious university
The University of West London wanted to attract new students by providing a first rate campus and creating an environment that combined the values of learning with the social side of university life. Following demolition of the existing building, the new focal point of the university’s St Mary’s Road campus in Ealing was to be known as the Heartspace, a large daylight-lit atrium which connected the various aspects of the campus.
The biggest challenge was to knit together five existing buildings with the new Heartspace building. This necessitated working with the structural restrictions of the existing buildings and distributing new services throughout the entire campus. As this was a live site, the project would have to be phased to allow studies and normal campus life to continue with as little disruption as possible. In addition, the design was also required to comply with the London Plan for renewable energy.
We designed a CHP district heating system and incorporated large amounts of photovoltaic panels in order to meet the requirements of the London Plan for renewable energy.
Collaborative working is a core strength at BSD and on this project we were pleased to be able to help the main contractor identify a workable solution to complete an unscheduled area of the university. We also advised the university on main utility options and future energy targets as well as value engineering to help comply with budget constraints. Our experience in using file sharing and project sites such as 4projects, BIW and Buzzsaw was the key to effective collaborative working. For example, we have valuable experience of working in a common data environment (CDE), a single point of storage for project information which was used by the design team on this project.
The Heartspace, named because of its central location in the campus, is now a vibrant social area for staff and students alike. It includes a library/learning centre, a performance centre and social facilities. Student services such as the Student Union are accessed through the ground floor refectory and a new glazed gallery.