Construction of the largest home for engineering in any UK university has been completed. With the conclusion of the base build phase, the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) was handed over to the University of Manchester on Friday, 14 May 2021.
Delivered by a collaborative team of builders, architects and engineers, MECD represents the single largest construction project ever completed by a higher education institution in the UK. Building design was undertaken by Mecanoo with support from Penoyre & Prasad, with detailed design during the technical and construction stages by BDP, and multidisciplinary engineering services provided by Arup. The main contractor was Balfour Beatty and it was project managed by Buro Four, with Buro Happold as the Environmental Sustainability Advisor.
MECD will provide world-class sustainable research facilities, alongside flexible and innovative teaching and learning spaces that will enable students to shape their own learning environment. It will house a community of 8,000 students, researchers, academics and professional services staff. This will be the largest concentration of interdisciplinary engineering expertise in any UK university.
The development incorporates a number of existing and new buildings: the eight-storey 80,000sqm Engineering Building A; Engineering Building B and the James Chadwick Building (on Upper Brook Street); refurbished Grade II listed Oddfellows Hall; and the York Street Building. MECD is home to purpose-designed blended lecture theatres, teaching laboratories, student workshops and a range of spaces to support our ambitious outreach and social engagement initiatives.
The University is committed to Environmental Sustainability, with MECD being the first project to appoint a dedicated Environmental Sustainability Advisor to develop and drive the University’s comprehensive sustainability targets throughout the project’s life cycle, including a BREEAM Excellent rating, a new active travel hub and green roof.
MECD is part of a world-class research and innovation hub and immediately adjacent to two flagship centres of excellence – the National Graphene Institute and the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s national institute for advanced materials research and innovation. The University of Manchester is ranked as the world number one in the THE Impact Rankings and this investment will ensure that Manchester continues to be at the forefront of delivering world-class research.
Francine Houben, Creative Director and Founding Partner of Mecanoo, said: “With the MECD, we are super-proud to play a big part in Manchester’s rise to become a centre for 21st century innovation. As the first city of the Industrial Revolution, it is a fantastic base for new engineering revolutions which will inevitably be born on the MECD campus. MECD is a key part of Manchester’s new urbanism, physically extending the city centre into its academic axis, and combining epic scale with connectivity, heritage and new public space for everyone.”