Working on behalf of main contractor George Downing Construction (GDC), SES was appointed in 2018 to install a full range of building services including heating, cooling, ventilation and public health, as well as smoke ventilation, security and a specialist fit-out package including stage lighting infrastructure and audio-visual systems on Leeds Beckett University’s latest landmark building and new home to its School of Arts.
Designed to be a hub for creative and innovative education, the building boasts an array of state-of-the-art facilities including Performing Arts and Music Performance spaces, a TV Studio, Film Studios, a 220-seat Cinema, Recording Studios and a Theatre as well as a Black Box Studio and Green Screen Studio.
Additionally, further specialist teaching spaces to promote collaboration, knowledge sharing, and creative talent have been incorporated.
The building also allows the university to relocate several departments under one roof including the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts as well as its Fashion Department.
Constructed on a sloping site, the building’s design incorporates many changes in levels which presented SES with a challenge for the installation and co-ordination of the high volume of building services required. SES overcame this using its BIM Level 2 expertise which ensured that the services, most of which are exposed, not only fit within the building, but have been designed and installed in such a way that maintenance and future access provision has been meticulously planned for.
Speaking about completing the logistically challenging scheme, SES’ operations director North, Paul Beaumont said:
“We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with GDC on behalf of the university on such a landmark building. Our extensive experience of working on complex buildings in the higher education sector certainly stood us in good stead on this occasion.
“I believe that our early adoption of BIM Level 2, combined with Prism, our offsite manufacturing facility to manufacture modular building services have both been instrumental in delivering the scheme to the high standard that clients come to expect when choosing to appoint SES.”
Commenting on such a major addition to its estate and the city centre, Professor Peter Slee, vice chancellor of the University added:
“Leeds Beckett University is a major contributor to the success of the cultural and creative industries of Leeds and the ‘creative conurbation’ which is developing in the greater North. This wonderful new facility not only creates a new city landmark, it also elevates the visibility of the university, providing a resource that we believe will contribute to the creative economy in Leeds.
“GDC and its team, including SES, have delivered a fantastic state-of-the-art building, the scale and stature of which ensures that it complements the cityscape and becomes a gateway to the planned Leeds Innovation District, which will provide a catalyst for the productive, sustainable and inclusive economic development for the city. It is also the perfect environment in which to bring academia and industry thinking together.”