News

University of Huddersfield Oastler Building shows its local metal

A photograph of Tim Hosker, Assistant Director of Estates & Facilities, University of Huddersfield;  Mark Denham, Managing Director, Elland Steel; Colin Blair MBE,  Director of Estates & Facilities, University of Huddersfield and Mark Heginbotham, Project Director, Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall has once again delved into the talented local supply chain for the University of Huddersfield’s new Oastler Building in Huddersfield town centre.

Following on from sourcing £210,000 of Yorkstone from the Johnsons Wellfield Quarries, it has now placed an order for £1 million of steel frame sourced from Elland Steel based in Halifax, less than 10 miles from the site.

Weighing approximately 600 tonnes, the steel frame, the large majority of which is British manufactured, will form the skeleton of the building, carry the building’s load and help form some of the internal dimensions of the various rooms. It will take approximately four months to piece together using around 22,500 bolts individually tightened by 14 operatives.

The 7,500 square metre, six-storey building is being developed in a prime campus location opposite the Shorehead roundabout between Queensgate and Wakefield Road in the town.

The £28 million building will provide a new home for the University’s Law School and the School of Music, Humanities and Media. It will also link into the University’s Student Central building which was completed in January 2014, at a cost of £22.5 million.

Mark Heginbotham, project director from Morgan Sindall, said: “We have a commitment and objective to ensure as much value from this project is driven back into the local community. Sometimes this is small scale affecting just one or two people but then other times, like this, we are placing seven figure orders with local companies.

“Elland Steel have the right blend of experience, knowhow and passion to ensure they were the best fit for this project. We are sure it will become one of their pin up projects and one of which they will be enormously proud.”

The partnership with Elland Steel Structures marks the continuing commitment by the University to support local businesses, as explained by Mr Colin Blair, the University’s Director of Estates.

“We have worked with the Halifax steel fabricators on a number of projects in recent years,” said Mr Blair, “including the £16 million development of the university’s new business school.

“The current £28 million building is situated at a strategic point on the town’s ring road and will be a landmark structure on the campus that will certainly impress those passing”, he added.

The Oastler Building has been designed to complement existing buildings within the university including both Student Central and the adjacent Creative Arts Building. Upon completion, by the beginning of 2017, the building will provide new teaching space including large tiered lecture theatres.

The eye-catching building, which will provide a new gateway to both the university and the town centre, was granted planning consent by Kirklees Council in April 2015.

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