Since the last update we’ve marked an important milestone in the project with the final pieces of steelwork lifted into place on the new atrium. A ‘topping out’ ceremony saw the Chair of the Board of Governors, Geoff Dawson, and Paul Dickerson, Managing Director of contractor Houltons, put their signatures to the final girder before it was lifted into place, watched by invited guests including the Vice-Chancellor. This is an exciting development and means the new atrium will soon start to take shape.

Concrete pouring has also been taking place around the atrium, and cladding and roofing works are ongoing around level 1. This should begin to solve some of the issues with water ingress into rooms 4027 and 4028 on level 0 of Sheaf, although there is a possibility this will continue in periods of very heavy weather until the atrium is completed.

The first phase of Sheaf level 1, comprising the majority of that level, has been handed back to the University and faculty staff are moving in from this week. The remaining areas, including the exhibition space, helpdesk and server room, will remain under the control of the contractor Houltons until April 2017. Preparation is now ongoing for work on level 0. Work in EMB level 2 is progressing well, with flooring work continuing ahead of furniture installation later this month.

There was some unexpected noise disruption last week which affected staff in a number of buildings. This was due to large concrete planters being removed on the footbridge, which was noisier than anticipated. Contractors were asked  to stop this work and continue with less disruptive activity as soon as the issue became obvious,  while a better method for the concrete removal was explored. The work will resume this week and, although there may be some disturbance while this is taking place, noise levels should be less than previously experienced.

Scaffolding is being erected around Sheaf to allow works on the guttering to take place; this is expected to last around 12-16 weeks. Although this is not part of the STEM development project  this work needed to be done so Houltons have been contracted to complete the renewal of the guttering while they are on site. Scaffolding will move around the building as this work takes place, but it won’t affect the temporary access to the building.

An updated fly-through of the new atrium is now available here. A high-res version of this video, for use at induction or recruitment events, is available by contacting