University of Leicester eBulletin

New Biomedical Building for University

March 2003
No 47


A £20 million development is under way at the University of Leicester that will provide researchers and postgraduate students in biomedical sciences with 95,000 sq ft of extra space with state of the art facilities.

Work began in January 2002 to prepare the site of the new five-storey Biomedical Sciences Building. The site behind the existing Maurice Shock Medical Sciences Building had once been allotments and the ground was soft. The £500,000 enabling contract has carefully prepared the land and included a high retaining wall and extensive piling. Also carried out in advance were services diversion and the laying of some foundations, so that work on the building, once begun, should run smoothly. [Artist's Impression: New Biomedical Building]

Paul Goffin, Deputy Director of the University’s Estates Office, said: “This is a very tight site to work on. It is incredibly close to other buildings and this meant that the piling works had to be done very carefully.”

The main building contractors, Norwest Holt, part of Vinci PLC, have been working closely with the design team and in particular the architects, The Fairhursts Design Group, to produce an attractive building with all the latest facilities.

Among the features of the building are: offices, meeting rooms, 20 laboratories, a seminar room, cold rooms, dark rooms, instrument areas, cell culture facilities, MRI and NMR suites, autoclaves, stores, a research library and interactive areas. A clean and dirty corridor system will operate, in line with Health and Safety requirements. The building will be fitted with high security measures, including key pads on door entry and swipe cards, and will be linked to the existing Medical Sciences Building.                 [Artist's Impression: New Biomedical Building]

The Biomedical Sciences Building will include a traditional brick façade, glazed curtain walling, a sloping roof of pressed steel sheet cladding panels, and double-glazed windows that are powder coated.

Once construction is complete the finished area will be attractively landscaped with trees, bushes, shrubs and grassland. A car park with 72 spaces will be laid out, replacing the temporary car park on site during building work.

Building work should end in mid-July 2004, enabling the building to be fully open and functioning by September when postgraduate students and staff will take possession.

The University of Leicester has the biggest number of taught postgraduate students in the UK and this highly complex facility will considerably enhance its reputation for teaching and research excellence. It is part of a total £300 million University Development Plan to develop the campus.

NOTE TO EDITORS:  Further information is available from Mr Paul Goffin, Deputy Director, University of Leicester Estates Office, 0116 252 2507, fax 0116 223 1333, email

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