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Tuesday 2 December 2014

Construction students allowed access to new building

The arrival of a 3-D model, depicting the University’s £30million new teaching and learning block is the latest in a number of exciting developments taking place both in the immediate vicinity of East Park Terrace and further afield. The model of the new building is available to view in the concourse of the Andrews Building and, for an even closer look, a fly-through can be seen here.

Works on site are progressing well and the atrium slab to house the pod is currently being cast. It comprises three open sections, two of which will be filled with pre-cast concrete in December. The middle section will house the staircase which leads down onto the lower floor (00) to the two subterranean lecture theatres.


The main structural elements of the pod-angled ‘legs’ and oval floor shapes and columns will be built and erected by a UK steel fabricator. The pod shell and internal lining with supporting ‘whale bone’ structure that will be attached to the UK-manufactured structure is being engineered and manufactured by CIG in Holland. Individual panels have to be engineered using 3-D CAD software so that the fabricators can bend the 10mm thick steel plate to exactly the right curve.

All three elements of the design are progressing simultaneously. Main contractors Interserve, the architects, and the client team will visit Holland early in the New Year to view the mock-up of the pod and visit the fabrication works. For students enrolled on civil engineering and construction courses, the new build means access to a working building site quite literally on their doorstep. The site construction team, many of whom are alumni from Southampton Solent, have hosted five recent visits from groups of students.


Students were given different subjects for each visit and were able to use the current construction project for real life application. Subjects have included site investigation, construction management processes, leadership and motivation and have been led and delivered by members of the site teams.

Students have also benefited from two lectures by Interserve Construction Ltd: Cliff Kinch, Regional Construction manager delivered the first on 9 October and Sam Teremetz, Project Manager, delivered the second less than two weeks later, on 21 October.

At least four more are planned for early in the New Year along with organised work placements both within the construction company and its consultants. Cliff Okeh and John Barfoot will deliver a lengthy curriculum support programme and there will be lots more structured site visits and assistance with developing educational videos on site. 2015 is going to be an exciting year!