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Contractor chosen for Newcastle science centre

Contractor chosen for Newcastle science centre

The second building of a major development at the University of Newcastle will be constructed by Bowmer and Kirkland, which has been appointed as the project’s main contractor.Science City is a 24-acre site being developed by the university alongside Newcastle City Council. The Urban Sciences Building (USB) will provide 13,000 sq m of “living laboratory” space, and it is hoped that it will serve as a site of innovation in the future of smart cities and other civic initiatives.Designed by architect Hawkins Brown, the USB will include a rooftop wildflower meadow to boost local biodiversity, a modular facade that will reduce the waste generated during construction. The modules also feature a special pattern to stop the building overheating in the summer without the need for air conditioning, which was created in collaboration with University of Newcastle academic Martyn Dade-Robertson.It will be based around a concrete frame, with flat slabs arranged over a piled foundation. The USB is designed to achieve a BREEAM rank of at least Excellent and will be delivered to BIM level two. Buro Happold has been chosen as the mechanical and engineering design consultant.The USB has been designed to connect to Science City’s future district heating infrastructure and will integrate with a sustainable urban drainage system. It is being built on the site of the old Elswick Scottish and Newcastle Brewery, where Newcastle Brown Ale was made. This linked the city’s industrial past to its growing reputation as a centre for scientific excellence.The contract is valued at £45.3 million, and is set to be completed by August 2017. The Core, the first of the Science City buildings, was finished in November 2014.Science City is a £250 million collaboration between public and private sector organisations that is designed to regenerate the surrounding area and support scientific research. 

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