Phase one of major university project completed

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Foundations have been completed for Sheffield University’s new £49 million engineering complex on a site off Broad Lane near the city centre.

Work began in July by Balfour Beatty on the building which is due to be completed by the summer of 2015 and is one of the university’s largest ever capital projects.

The site is over a weak layer of coal and rocks which meant engineers had to install piles up to 15 metres long to support the new structure.

Next a reinforced concrete liner wall with ground floor slabs up to eight metres deep was installed, before three kilometres of concrete were poured in.

Work above ground will start next month on the six storey building which will include specialist teaching laboratories, lecture theatres, flexible teaching rooms, a library and learning resources.

The design includes triple glazed units with clear, translucent and opaque panels which will keep in heat.

The building will later be encased by an aluminium exoskeleton.

University director of estates Keith Lilley said: “The new building is the lynchpin of our estates development programme over the next decade.”