'Like a greenhouse' - Sheffield University staff claim £65m new building is health and safety hazard

Staff at Sheffield University say a £65m new building with a huge glass roof is like a ‘greenhouse’ and a health and safety hazard in hot weather.
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The Wave on Whitham Road, Broomhill, traps too much heat when the sun is out, some claim.

The troubled flagship building had to be knocked down part way through construction back in 2020 due to some issues with the foundations, which ended up costing millions. It was rebuilt and finally opened in March this year.

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But three months on and a major problem has emerged, leading some to rename it ‘The Heat Wave’.

It was rebuilt and finally opened in March this year. But three months on and a major problem has emerged, leading it to be dubbed ‘The Heat Wave’.It was rebuilt and finally opened in March this year. But three months on and a major problem has emerged, leading it to be dubbed ‘The Heat Wave’.
It was rebuilt and finally opened in March this year. But three months on and a major problem has emerged, leading it to be dubbed ‘The Heat Wave’.

Education lecturer Dr Ryan Bramley, complained sarcastically on Twitter: “The Wave (our new Social Sciences Faculty building) is so excessively hot today. Makes sense - the place is practically a giant greenhouse. So many colleagues struggling in the heat. It looks great though, and that's the main thing, right?”

Natalie Langford responded: “I asked the staff working in the cafe if they were okay in the heat and they said it’s a real struggle. I said they should definitely get on to health and safety about it - it’s really bad for them as they are constantly on their feet/dealing with hot ovens and coffee machines!”

Dr Gemma Ahearne said she felt sick in the heat, adding: “I came home. It's just too hot to be in non air-conditioned buildings with so much glass.”

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Sol Gamsu said: “Amazing what a bad building it is. You'd think after the first time they built it they might have made some corrections.”

Staff at Sheffield University say a £65m new building with a huge glass roof is like a ‘greenhouse’ and a health and safety hazard in hot weather.Staff at Sheffield University say a £65m new building with a huge glass roof is like a ‘greenhouse’ and a health and safety hazard in hot weather.
Staff at Sheffield University say a £65m new building with a huge glass roof is like a ‘greenhouse’ and a health and safety hazard in hot weather.

A University of Sheffield spokesperson said: "The Wave uses sustainable ground-source heat pumps to heat and cool the building. As the building is new, these systems are still being calibrated to work at optimal temperatures and efficiency.

“Some staff reported that they were uncomfortably warm in some parts of the building during last week's hot weather. We continue to actively adjust the cooling systems within the building to balance the ground source systems and the temperatures throughout.”

The Wave was designed by Sheffield’s HLM Architects and built by BAM Construct UK.