New Science building
The construction of the new unilocation for the Faculty of Science can start next year. The Executive Board has approved the design for the first phase. The building will meet strict sustainability norms.
The new building will be realized in three phases. The first phase comprises the offices and lecture halls of the LIC and the LACDR, as well as specialized facilities such as the Cell Observatorywith the NeCen, the test lab and the precision engineering department, as well as the logistics centre from which all incoming goods are distributed.
In April, a temporary location for the Cell Observatory and NeCen was constructed within a few days behind the ‘saucer’ building, using prefab units. It will be ready for use at the end May, and will provide temporary accommodation for NeCen. The first phase of the new building should be completed by 2015, the second by 2019 and the third by 2022, making this a long-term project. The existing buildings will disappear, with the exception of the curiously shaped saucer, which will be renovated.
An important element of the five-storey building is the so-called central axis: a long corridor which runs from the front to the back of the building and which will include footbridges, both in the length and in the width. This axis is intended to serve as a meeting place for staff and students. In order to connect the axis with the public areas, the walls on the corridor side will be transparent. A parking garage will be built under the building for bicycles, motorbikes and mopeds, as well as 500 cars.
The new building follows the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).BREEAM determines the standard for sustainable buildings and subsequently indicates the level of sustainability of a given building. The planning team of the new building – consisting of architects (inbo | JHK), representatives of the Real Estate Expertise Centre and of the Faculty – are aiming for ‘very good’. This is the reason that there is currently an investigation into the possibility of using composite material – glass-fibre-bound artificial colophon – for the facade profiles, rather than aluminium or steel. These metals are far less environmentally friendly, especially in the production phase.
Another special feature is that all the drawings/plans have from the start been made in 3D. ‘This makes a big difference in so-called failure costs,’ says Peter Hamel of the Real Estate Department, project leader and chairman of the planning team. ‘These are costs that result from inefficient building processes or from the errors that arise in the preparatory phase. With 3D, you can look in the building at all times, and errors can therefore be identified much earlier.’
The new building site is already witnessing much activity: the preparatory ground work has begun. Tom Westerhof, representative of the Faculty on the team: ‘This new building will make an important contribution to the realisation of research and education at an international level and it fits into the University Strategic Plan for Inspiration and Growth. We are really pleased with it.’
Please see below for a more detailed 3D drawing of the building.
(21 April 2011)