Physics Refurbishment

Work is nearing completion on the Physics refurbishment.

The project will create a world class teaching and research environment and will enhance the public face of the Physics department, improving the learning and working environment for students and staff and supporting future growth.

The Physics building was originally built in the 1960s and has been substantially unaltered since construction. It has a ‘sixties feel’, is considered outdated and requires modernisation.

The design brief has been developed in consultation with the Physics department through regular working groups with student representatives, researchers, technicians, teaching and administrative staff.

Plans to upgrade, and add to, the existing accommodation will improve the sustainability and accessibility of the building, making use of natural light and ventilation throughout. As part of the project, all levels of the existing building will be refurbished and a 2 storey atrium will be integrated into the scheme.

The four large teaching labs will be modernised to bring them up to the highest contemporary standards. These labs will become showpieces for the department, helping teaching and learning and assisting with future student recruitment.

One of the highest priority goals of redevelopment is to create a social learning hub. The new atrium will create an environment to facilitate group working and enable remote studying.

Head of Department, Professor Roger Jones, said: “This exciting project will allow us to provide an environment for students to match the excellent assessment they give of teaching in Physics. It will also mean that the important first impression of Physics for students and staff will reflect the cutting edge and vital activity within it, as well as providing modern working spaces for existing staff.”

The project will be phased to minimise disruption and is expected to be complete in Summer 2017. Physics Avenue will close for the duration of the project.

Reducing our impact on the environment

The Physics refurbishment will be targeting a BREEAM Excellent standard. BREEAM is a measure of the building's environmental performance and the effect it will have on the wider environment.

The key innovative and low impact design features of the building helping to achieve this will be:

  • The extensive retention of the original building fabric
  • Upgrade to the external windows and roof to meet current building regulations
  • Extensively natural ventilation
  • Full replacement to mechanical & electrical services including replacement lighting installation and replacement heat emitters


Project Data

Basic Building Cost


Services Costs


External Works


Gross floor area


Total area of site

hectares - 0.81

Function areas and their size (m2)

5227.98 m2 excluding plant (300.33 m2) & service risers (176.20 m2)

Area of circulation (m2)

1617.65 m2

Area of storage (m2)

49.5 m2

% area of grounds to be used by community (where relevant)


% area of buildings to be used by community (where relevant)


Predicted electricity consumption

36.14 kWh/m2 

Predicted fossil fuel consumption

28.19 kWh/m2

Predicted renewable energy generation

0 kWh/m2

Predicted water use

5.20 m3/person/year

% predicted water use to be provided by rainwater or greywater



To find out more about the steps being taken during the construction process to reduce environmental impacts, i.e. innovative construction management techniques, see the Physics Building Environmental Management Plan.

Keeping up to date

There is a weekly update email advising of the work and the noise levels anticipated for the coming weeks. If you would like to receive this email please contact Facilities communications.

Should you have any queries regarding this project, please contact the Senior Project Manager, Helen Wood, via the Facilities Helpdesk. 01524 593333.