Manchester Metropolitan University

Client: Sir Robert McAlpine

Capita was appointed by Sir Robert McAlpine to provide multi-disciplinary design services for the construction of Manchester Metropolitan University's Brooks Building on the Birley campus.

Capita was appointed by Sir Robert McAlpine to provide multi-disciplinary services for the construction of Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) new £60m academic building in Hulme. The Brooks building went on to be named the ‘Manchester Project of the Year’ at the North West Regional Construction Awards 2015 in the summer of 2015.

The Brooks Building is one of the most sustainable campus buildings in the UK higher education (HE) sector, has achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and was designed as part of a zero carbon, waste and water strategy, while providing improved biodiversity on the site. The 21,400 square metre landmark five-storey building houses the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care. It also houses an energy centre on site that provides heat and power to the academic building and student residences. 

Capita provided civil, structural and geo-environmental engineering to Sir Robert McAlpine during the winning competitive tender at RIBA stage 3-4. Capita’s architects were also appointed as executive design lead, working closely with the University team to further develop the design.

The academic building has an exposed, pre-cast concrete frame, incorporating “Coolslab” floors. These pre-cast concrete panels are provided with a high-quality soffit finish and incorporate water pipe-work to help cool the building, in addition to making use of the inherent thermal mass of the floors.

The project team supported the Government Construction Strategy, using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to improve construction efficiency. Capita’s team worked with the concept project team to establish a full understanding of the design intent and concept for Birley Fields, then remodelled the whole project into a full federated 3D Revit, creating project specific families of components.

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