Project 360: Aston University Brain Centre
Alan Charters, Executive Director of Capital Development, Aston University
The Brain Centre project has been invaluable to Professor Furlong and his team of scientists who were delighted with their new and inspiring research environment. The facility is being used not only as a research centre, but its state-of-the-art technology has enabled the University to provide leading clinical services for children and adults – ultimately an invaluable service to the local community and further afield.
The completion of the project has been a significant milestone to our Estates Masterplan redevelopments, and Speller Metcalfe superseded our expectations on quality, budget and service. The effective leadership, proactive teamwork and long-term relationship building was invaluable to facilitating the smooth operation of the developments on site. It was recognised by all that the open, honest communication and thorough industry knowledge of the site team – as led by Tony – dramatically simplified the construction process and ensured we were left with a solid build that will continue to provide significant research and facilities for years to come.
Tony Knott, Project Manager, Speller Metcalfe
The Aston University build was a fantastic project that involved the construction of a new laboratory and ancillary space, built to a standard capable of securing Health Care Quality Commission Approval for clinical paediatric assessment. This was achieved by extending the current Aston Day Hospital to provide a two-storey building plus roof space for a plant room, alongside alterations to the first floor level to form a meeting room. The Commission audit team concluded that the site was, “A fantastic building for healthcare provision,” and that, “We would like to cite this as a flagship site.”
The completed extension achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, which was not only a fantastic recognition to the team for all their efforts, but ensures that the build has met the highest specification for sustainable credentials such as energy use and CO₂2 emissions, water use, materials, waste and pollution.
Andrew Bailey, RPS
The Aston Brain Centre was designed to meet the Clients specific requirements for Clinical and research space, housing one of the most up-to-date MEG scanners in the northern Hemisphere; the building had to be child friendly and welcoming but maintain flexibility for the Client team.
Speller Metcalfe immediately became part of the team and with their experience in BREEAM standard buildings were able to assist the team in maintaining an ‘Excellent’ standard for the building, without compromise to the budget.
The new Aston Brain Centre building sits alongside the existing Aston Day Hospital and Speller Metcalfe’s site team liaised with the users to ensure that the daily operation and access were not affected. The start on site was hindered by one of the coldest winters on record just when the foundations were due to be laid, but with Speller Metcalfe’s persistence and ingenuity they managed to minimise the loss of time and maintain programme.