Biomedical Phases 1 & 2, University of York

Biomedical Phases 1 & 2, University of York


BWB Consulting were instructed by The University of York through Faithful &Gould to undertake civil & structural design services for a proposed new Biomedical & Natural Sciences Building off Wentworth Way on the main campus. This re-development for the University of York Biology Department, includes the Centre for Immunology and Infection, Biomedical and Natural Sciences Phase 1 and Phase 2. Each building has specialist laboratory spaces with an emphasis on openness and inclusivity, both to showcase the Department's research facilities and encourage interconnected, interdisciplinary teaching environments.

BWB were involved from the very outset of the project including the introductory briefing from Dr Vann who was to head up the new faculty of Biomedical and Natural Sciences. This allowed BWB to engage with the client team and other professional team members to define the spatial requirements, loading criteria and identify any sensitive equipment that required particular structural performance requirements.

The Phase 1 building brief was to provide a "home space" for students, and a headquarters for key staff. The requirement for the department was to provide the teaching space expansion required due to the introduction of the new Biomedical Sciences degree course that commenced in October 2014. The associated design also needed to consider the future expansion for Phase 2 which would be connected via link bridges and an open atrium. BWB completed the design to RIBA Stage 4 and were then retained client side once the contract was awarded to Shepherd Construction.

Key Challenges

The Phase 2 building brief called for a range of spaces which required careful configuration to balance the complex demands of sensitive scientific operations with vibrant, innovative teaching environments. Every physical space was complemented by a virtual counterpart through the comprehensive application of digital technology support.

BWB also provided geotechnical and environmental advice for this project and have been closely involved with the University Estates Department in relation to dealing with buried asbestos in the soils around the proposed development. Other site constraints included the construction of service trenches directly adjacent to the proposed building and working in close proximity to the existing operational Biology department. Vibration sensitive medical equipment was being used in the adjacent live site. Vibration was mitigated by adopting cut off trenches and silent piling techniques to ensure business as usual for the re-development of the Biology Estate.


Dominic Ginty

Dominic Ginty
Service Director - Building Structures
View profile | contact