University of Wolverhampton, MB Building Wolverhampton

Redevelopment of the MB Building for Wolverhampton University on the City South Campus, to create new science facilities and laboratories for the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

A new Science Centre was needed to accommodate science facilities and labs for the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton. The scheme was to provide 6,000sqm of high-grade laboratories to train future scientists to the highest possible standard.

The scheme was sited on the footprint of the former MB teaching building on the City Campus. Demolition of the existing extensions allowed the construction of the new six-storey extension to the existing five-storey MB Building. A steel frame was chosen to form the main extension superstructure; this solution was chosen to accommodate the required spans while minimising the weight of the structure, avoiding more costly foundation solutions.

Extensive adaptions were required to the existing building including creating an extra floor. The Ridge solution utilised light forms of construction, including light-weight concrete for the additional floor slab. This allowed the existing structure and foundations to be used with only minimal strengthening works to the frame, keeping the project costs down and on programme.

The building structure and drainage was modelled by Ridge in Autodesk Revit and the use of 3D BIM allowed the structure to be fully coordinated with other disciplines and specialist contractors. Use of BIM on this project was so successful that in 2015 the West Midlands Celebrating Construction Awards declared it the BIM Project of the Year.

Ground conditions varied greatly across the site and numerous obstructions existed from previous developments. A shallow foundation solution of concrete pad footings and ground beams was devised that overcame the challenging ground conditions, without resorting to more costly foundation options.

  • 2015

    The West Midlands Celebrating Construction Awards declared it the BIM Project of the Year.