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Farrell & Clark completes Bradford University extension

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[First look + plans] Leeds-based Farrell & Clark has unwrapped this £6 million facility for Bradford University’s School of Health Studies

The 4,000m² ‘gateway’ project, which started on site last year (AJ 14.04.10), is part of the larger £84 million overhaul and ‘consolidation’ of the campus and has been described as ‘50 per cent refurbishment and 50 per cent new build’.

The revamped buildings house shared academic offices while the six-storey new build extension has become home to the specialist health teaching facilities.



School of Health Studies. Bradford University

The architect’s view

The University of Bradford’s desire to consolidate its satellite campuses together onto one site was the primary driver for the relocation of the School of Health Studies from it’s existing off site location, onto their Central Campus.

Following extensive master planning works a prominent gateway site was selected. The building design developed around the principle of utilizing vacant accommodation within the existing Horton A Building and the addition of a landmark extension.

The location of the building at the entrance of the university forms one of the first visual markers for the campus. The curved form and sloped gable glazing makes a dynamic contribution to the university main entrance and it is hoped will represent their aspirations, and help to promote the University and Bradford to potential students, local businesses and the general community.

The Horton A building makes up approx 50 per cent of the accommodation required and houses cellular shared academic offices. 

Many of the internal walls, stair core and much of the building fenestration has been retained, but this existing block has undergone a substantial refurbishment with thermal insulation levels far in excess of Building Regulations and an air tightness measurement of less than 2m³/hr/m² @ 50 Pa along with an entirely new services installation.

The remaining accommodation is realized through a bespoke, six-storey new build extension which houses the specialist health teaching facilities.

The new extension is predominantly formed in exposed concrete with a new steel framed link structure and roof top level which bridges the existing and new. The external facades are a mixture of Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) rainscreen cladding panels and vertical timber rainscreen cladding allowing substantial thermal insulation levels to be achieved.

The self imposed ‘Ecoversity’ status at Bradford has driven a challenging environmental brief, which aims for sustainable construction to form part of its campus wide initiative to become a greener university. The sustainability brief includes some onerous targets for the design team in areas such as : U-vales, Day lighting, Energy use, Heating, cooling and material use.

The building is naturally ventilated via opening windows controlled by a comprehensive building management system (BMS). Windows are timber/aluminium composite with triple-glazed units and the façade is shaded where necessary by an external timber brise soleil.

Thermal mass is a significant part of the temperature management strategy for the internal spaces and the concrete structure has been left exposed where ever possible.

All timber for the project has been sustainably sourced and the project team is awaiting confirmation of a BREEAM rating of excellent.

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