The redevelopment of the Sighthill campus at Napier University has now started on site. The campus will incorporate the Faculty of Health, Life and Social Sciences, providing learning, teaching and research facilities for 5,000 students and staff. It will include a Learning Resource Centre, IT-enabled lecture theatres and seminar rooms, clinical skills laboratories and sports facilities. A glass fronted atrium will create a social space and connect the buildings.
Buro Happold has worked closely with RMJM Architects to develop the structural and building services design; this has resulted in the architectural expression of a number of structural elements in several parts of the buildings. The beam and column layout has been carefully chosen to achieve the desired aesthetic, and a materials appraisal was carried out to achieve a solution that fulfils the requirements of the scheme. The buildings are heavily serviced in certain areas, so the floors have been designed to minimise the structural depth and create a clear services zone, free from interruptions.
The development, which will build on the university’s world class facilities, includes the regeneration of an existing eight storey reinforced concrete spine frame, and also an extension to this. A thorough condition survey has been carried out of the existing frame. Generally the frame is in good condition however some repair works will be required.
A steel-framed solution has been developed for the main buildings, with precast concrete planks forming the floor slabs, and stability provided by braced bays. This design was also chosen due to the possible speed of erection, and the sustainability strategy. The concrete floor soffits are exposed in several areas, to take advantage of the material’s inherent thermal mass.
“The holistic approach taken by Buro Happold has resulted in the integration of many services,” said Graeme Gidney, project director on the scheme. “For example, the exposed and external concrete will also be assessed by the fire engineering team, to check the performance of the existing frame in the next stage of the design.”
Buro Happold is providing a number of services for the project, including structural, building services and fire engineering. Its sustainable credentials have enabled a prediction of an ‘excellent’ rating in an initial Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) pre-assessment.
A number of sustainable solutions have been incorporated into the design. For example, the cooling of a number of areas with high equipment heat gains has been carefully considered; mechanical cooling has been used, but minimally. Wherever possible, the passive control of spaces has been optimised through a detailed analysis of the orientation of the building, solar shading and the location of certain space types.
Demolition work began in spring 2008 and Sighthill construction is due to complete in 2010. The development will lead the wider regeneration of North Sighthill.
Civil, structural, building services and fire engineering, and sustainable and alternative technologies
Jones Lang LaSalle
J + D Pierce
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Buro Happold is a multi-disciplinary international practice of consulting engineers established in 1976. We now employ over 1,700 staff in 21 offices worldwide, and our aim is to produce high quality engineering design in concept, in detail and in execution, on time, to programme and delivering excellent value for money. Our distinctive culture and ethos is still based on the same principles of care, value and elegance that were established when the practice was founded.
We offer structural, building services, civil, infrastructure and façade engineering, as well as a broad range of specialist consultancy services including sustainability, ground and environmental engineering, fire and security design, health and safety management, inclusive and urban design, project management, and specialist CAD and computer simulation provision.