In a co-funded partnership with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Lancaster University started working with Wilson Mason Architects on the refurbishment project in May 2017.
Tasked with creating a vibrant new space within the parameters of the existing building and external covered courtyard, Wilson Mason worked with consultants Hoare Lea and Curtins to conduct a series of consultation events, including a pre-construction presentation where staff and students could ask questions and give their feedback on the plans prior to any construction work taking place.
The LEC building is home to a community of high-acheiving students, world-class environmental researchers, governemnt scientists and enterprises working together to address today's biggest environmental challenges. Because of this, it was important when considering design features within the project scope, that the look and feel of the refurbished space reflected the people that use it.
Sustainable design features are incorporated throughout the space that subtly acknowledge the work of the LEC department. From the 100% recyclable Bolon Flooring, to the glazed roof, designed to reduce the need for lighting, the atrium is designed to be as eco-friendly as possible within the constraints of the project.Construction began in March this year to revive the space, commonly used as a collaborative working area for staff and students at LEC, and staff at CEH. Helen Wood, Senior Project Manger in Facilities said: "We appointed Parkinson Builders to conduct the construction work. They did a fantastic job of working around many sensitive experiments and research projects in the building and communicated disruption very clearly via a network of building superintendents to ensure the project progressed smoothly, with minimal problems." "The refurbishment completed successfully at the end of August and the space is now open and fully furnished as schedule. The atrium is filled with a wide variety of plant species, including a 250-year-old olive tree, which fill a number of wooden planters throughout the area. Some of which are mobile, allowing the space to be adapted for a number of different uses." Further features include; a glazed roof, designed to capture daylight and distribute it evenly across the atrium. Water-based earthborn Clay paint, a paint that is virtually VOC free and carries the EU Ecolabel. 100% recyclable flooring laid thoughout and fabric coverings made from 100% recycled materials, and a high tech ventilation system that will maintain an even temperature all year round. Find out more about the research and courses at LEC by visiting the website.