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Morgan Sindall wins £14.7 million University of Essex development

Morgan Sindall has won a £14.7 million contract to construct a landmark sustainable centre for the University of Essex which will house Essex Business School.

The development at the University’s Colchester Campus will comprise the construction of a new three-storey 5,500m2 building which brings the business school, which is currently spread across six buildings, under one central roof.

Essex Business School is due to be completed in early Summer 2014 and will include a 200-seat lecture theatre, a number of smaller seminar rooms, learning and teaching areas, common rooms and social spaces for students.

Simon Neale, Director of Estate Management at the University of Essex, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Morgan Sindall to construct this innovative new building, which will accommodate the business school and provide it with the space and facilities to allow it to compete with the premier business schools in Europe. It will simultaneously showcase the school’s ethos to lead the development of sustainable business strategies.”

The new building is designed by architects BDP to be carbon neutral and will showcase renewable technologies in action. The aim is to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of Excellent and the building will feature a range of innovative sustainable elements including a ‘green’ sedum roof, photovoltaic cells (solar panels), and sustainably sourced materials.

The attractive curved timber framed and timber clad building is shaped so that it benefits from natural day lighting and ventilation. The building will also feature an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) biome panelled roof similar to that used in the Eden Project, which is made from a fluorine-based plastic, which is resilient, self-cleaning and recyclable.

The Morgan Sindall team will also be constructing a winter garden at the heart of the development which will act as an environmental buffer zone, supporting the passive ventilation and heating strategy of the three-storey building while also providing an attractive central gathering space.

Morgan Sindall area director, Gavin Napper, said: “The university’s vision for this project is both ambitious and progressive and we are looking forward to bringing our extensive experience in constructing education facilities to bear on this development.

“The new building for Essex Business School will provide students, lecturers and researchers with an attractive, sustainable area in which to work and socialise, and we are delighted to be a part of this exciting project.”

Morgan Sindall recently completed a £15 million development at the Royal Veterinary College in Potters Bar, which was recognised with two awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The company is currently on site constructing the new £23 million Art and Design Faculty building at Manchester Metropolitan University. Morgan Sindall has also recently completed its ninth project for the University of Sussex – a £17.8 million new academic building on the university’s Falmer Campus.


Pictured: An artist's impression of the Essex Business School building

For more information about this news release please contact Ruth Cobban at Paver Smith on 0151 239 5000 or email