Work on Sheaf and EMB, and the new atrium, continues to progress really well. The new chemical engineering lab, Sheaf 4014, is likely to be completed slightly ahead of schedule and rooms 3006, 3007 and 3009 in EMB may also be handed over to us before Christmas rather than in the new year. We have already taken possession of the new chemistry lab in EMB, and between now and the Christmas break the contractors will be clearing the adjacent terrace area. This will involve removing external scaffolding, completing waterproofing works and restoring paving. Most of the scaffolding around Sheaf and EMB will come down before the end of the year which will make a big difference to the appearance of both buildings.

Contractors have taken possession of the area adjacent to room 4030 in Sheaf and work here is ongoing. A temporary partition and hoarding was erected at the weekend to cordon off this area and walls are being demolished to break through to EMB. In liaison with the faculty the most disruptive aspects of the demolition are taking place between 6am and 9am but colleagues should be aware of possible disturbance in this area in the run up to Christmas. Construction of the new goods entrance is also ongoing, although this will not be in use until the new year. The flight simulator has been moved to its new home in 4019 without any major problems and appears to be on programme.

The screed pouring to create the new atrium floors has been completed successfully and the underfloor heating is due to be turned on. This should make a big difference to temperatures in the adjoining rooms. The final work to finish off the floor will be completed next year. The screen adjacent to the reception desk in Sheaf has also been installed which should help keep down any noise or draughts from the atrium.

Staff and students may notice a little more disturbance from the atrium in the run-up to Christmas as plastering, boarding and metal studding is installed. Although this should not be too disruptive, as it won’t involve any machinery, colleagues should be aware of possible disturbance. As always we are working with the contractors to minimise this.

The STEM site will be fully closed down over Christmas and New Year with no contractors on site. The atrium area will be fully secure by that time as the revolving doors, which are currently being installed, will be locked for the duration of the holidays. The barriers around the site will also remain in place. All plant and other machinery will be removed so, should security teams need to access the area while the University is closed, they will be able to do so safely.

We are working with the contractors to identify dates for a small number of staff tours in the new year. These will be made available initially to ACES staff who have been most affected by the STEM works, and will give those colleagues a chance to enjoy a sneak peak of the new atrium space as it nears completion.

Finally, a reminder that to enable electrical works to take place as part of the STEM development there will be a full power shutdown in both EMB and Sheaf from 6pm on Friday 16 December and there will be no access for staff or students. Power will be restored no later than the evening of Sunday 18 December. Full details are on the Future Spaces blog here.

This is the last update of 2016; the next one will be on Wednesday 11 January. Merry Christmas and happy new year.