University of Sheffield Engineering Heartspace

Constructing Excellence

Interserve Construction, University of Sheffield, Castle Owen, Bond Bryan, Turner & Townsend, Arup, Eastwood and Partners, Services Design Associates

This stunning development has sustainably combined traditional and modern construction to create a fitting new home for the University of Sheffield Faculty of Engineering.

The University of Sheffield is a Russell Group university and global leader for engineering research, with a £120m per annum income. The project vision was to bring the growing faculty departments together in a dynamic social and collaboration space, and deliver a more sustainable campus.

This was accomplished by fully refurbishing the Grade II listed Sir Frederick Mappin Building and 1885 Central Wing and connecting them with a dramatic glass roof, enclosing a social space and two contemporary glazed accommodation blocks. The undulating atrium glass roof celebrates engineering excellence, which has been at the heart of Sheffield’s development since the industrial revolution and this continues through the global reputation of the University.

All parties are proud to have been part of this innovative project to successfully restore historic buildings back to their former glory and create a spectacular sustainable space for the twenty first century.

“The Sir Frederick Mappin Building and the 1885 Central Wing are treasured parts of the University. Not only were they crucial parts of the institution’s formation, they were also the birthplace of engineering at the University. We’re proud to have refurbished them so they can continue to be at the heart of Sheffield engineering and play a part in the lives and careers of our staff and students.”

Professor Mike Hounslow, Vice-President and Head of the University’s Faculty of Engineering

Through collaborative working, digital construction and modern methods of construction we have vastly improved the functionality of the two buildings meeting the needs of 21st century, whilst staying true to their heritage and character.

Adding value: Works to the existing buildings provide a potential 49% energy saving and associated savings in CO2 emissions. The project stimulated an extra £74m in the local economy (GVA) and resolved barriers to accessibility, common in historic buildings.

Legacy: The Heartspace atrium is open to all, including the wider Sheffield community, providing a venue for events, attracting people to the city. It has also helped to preserve buildings important to Sheffield’s history, passing on traditional conservation skills from one generation to the next and driven sustainable innovation with state-of-the-art construction techniques and technology.

Driving change: We are already sharing this unique journey, the innovation, collaboration and many lessons learnt, with a variety of stakeholders, including the University’s own engineering students. We have provided CPD site visits, welcomed the public through Build UK Open Doors and filmed a video case study with the University to showcase the project (available on YouTube). We would be delighted for Constructing Excellence to publicise this project to the construction sector and government, supporting you with further technical information and on/off site events.

Key Achievements

  • We have injected new life into two of Sheffield’s landmark listed buildings with the introduction of the spectacular Engineering Heartspace atrium. The project has successfully achieved the University of Sheffield’s vision of achieving improved energy efficiency and creating a sustainable world-class facility to enhance their global position in engineering and outstanding student experience.
  • Engineering Heartspace demonstrates the ingenuity of the industry to finding solutions through true collaboration. We delivered this sustainable project safely, within budget and to an exceptional quality despite the many associated listed building and logistical site constraints.
  • We have delivered outstanding sustainable social value outcomes, including a £74m injection within the local economy. Engineering Heartspace generated 5 new jobs, 6 new apprenticeships, 2 undergraduate summer placements, 40 student visits/workshops and 312 apprentice weeks. We placed 79% of subcontracts locally, 71% of which was with SMEs, including specialist heritage subcontractors. We have been genuine partners, supporting community groups and events such as two years sponsorship of Sheffield Varsity.