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HE Design

17 Oct 2023
Design, Construction & Delivery Stage
Transformational Estates
Karl Brown, HLM & Laura Armitage, University of Sheffield

One of the key challenges that Universities face is planning for future development in an education environment that is constantly evolving and student numbers that are hard to predict. How can estates teams develop plans that support new pedagogies of learning, meet zero carbon aspirations and yet are flexible enough to cope with the unknown like hybrid working and new learning patterns resulting from Covid ?

Over the last few years, the University of Sheffield have commissioned a number of Estate Development Frameworks to consider how departments and faculties can work together to improve efficiency and identities, creating more opportunity for interdisciplinary working and research. Alongside this they also wanted to address future growth targets, enhance the student experience, and improve space utilisation and flexibility.

To illustrate this Laura Armitage from the University of Sheffield Social Sciences Faculty, supported by Karl Brown from HLM Architects, will talk about how the faculty development framework evolved and the new social sciences hub which sits at its heart. The building was redesigned to respond to changing user needs identified using bespoke stakeholder engagement software. The presentation will share data from this user engagement tool showing what are student/staff priorities and aspirations for their learning environments and how this has impacted on the design of the building.

A place to belong: A new student centre for the University of York
Jon Roylance, ADP & Mike Richardson, University of York


The new Student Centre at the University York showcases new thinking in how architects engage with a diverse campus community to optimise briefing and design outcomes.

The new landmark building reflects the engagement themes of ‘place, people, and purpose’. Each theme reflected in the perception studies of those who will visit the building both through digital touchpoints and spaces that reflect neurodivergent needs. Ranging from spaces to connect to space that offer sanctuary.

The presentation will focus on the key themes of student perception – experience, wellbeing, EDI, sustainability, social value, and the techniques used to support engagement. The presentation will also highlight how smart campus technology is being integrated into the project to support student and visitor experience, and also estate management.

Trevor Wills, Director of Estates & Facilities - University of Plymouth
Karl Brown, Associate - HLM Architects
Laura Armitage, Faculty Estates & Infrastructure Manager - Faculty of Social Sciences - University of Sheffield
Jon Roylance, Higher Education Sector Director - ADP
Mike Richardson, Director of Architecture - University of York



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