Work commences on UK's biggest straw building at Nottingham University
In March, Rushcliffe Borough Council Planners granted planning approval for the largest prefabricated straw bale construction project in the UK, located at the University of Nottingham’s agricultural campus in Sutton Bonington.
Construction commenced in late May on the 3,100 sq m building designed by Make, which will bring together the School of Biosciences and the School of Veterinary and Medical Sciences (SVMS) for the first time. With a value of £7m, the building will take 12 months to complete and will house a combination of laboratories and office space. Tim Brooksbank, Development Director at the University of Nottingham’s Estate Department, said: “Bringing high tech facilities into a rural setting, the Bioscience SVMS building is a crucial part of our development plans for the Sutton Bonington Campus and sets the standard for what we hope will be a visionary phase of development.”
Timber and straw used in the construction will be sourced locally from the University’s own farmland and will attempt to push the boundaries of current straw bale construction technology to deliver a modern, distinctive building while using traditional construction methods.
The building has been positioned to minimise solar gain and interact with its surroundings; the façade design takes its inspiration from the natural rhythm of the tree line adjacent to the site and the building is set to achieve BREEAM Excellent rating.
It is the first stage of a 20-year masterplan for the campus which aims to enhance its reputation as a primary destination for the study of plant and animal sciences. The long term aim is to transform the site into a wholly sustainable and people-focused development, befitting its status as a leading educational establishment. The design team comprises Couch Perry Wilkes, Price and Myers, Sand Project Management and WSP.