The scheme was project managed by AECOM
Coventry University’s new Science and Health Building, project managed by AECOM, has opened its doors to students. The new £59 million facility features hospital wards, an ambulance and an operating theatre, as well as a running track, giving students an exact replica of the environments they will work in during their future careers.
AECOM provided services including Project Management, Contract Administration and acted as Construction, Design and Management (CDM) Principal Designer during the design, procurement and construction of the new flagship Science & Health Building.
The complexity of the project posed a number of key challenges for AECOM to overcome, including coordinating and planning the specialist equipment, as well as delivering the project on a constrained city centre site. There is also a centralised Energy Centre connecting four existing buildings to take into account. Another key challenge from a project management perspective was client migration. AECOM’s approach to managing the challenges includes aligning the Employers Requirements throughout the project lifecycle, as well as facilitating project communication and consultations.
The new facility is the only one of its kind where students will be able to train to care for a patient at every stage of their medical experience: from paramedics arriving at their home and their subsequent ambulance journey, to their stay in hospital, through to discharge and rehabilitation.
It incorporates two fully furnished terraced houses, with one fitted with the top of the range assistive technology, such as adjustable kitchen units and a shower that can be controlled by an iPad remotely. These houses aim to give students realistic experiences of working within patients’ homes and are equipped with augmented reality technologies to help them learn from different scenarios.
The building is not only about training for those on healthcare courses, but brings all of Coventry University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences’ practical facilities under one roof for the first time, including professional-standard laboratories and Olympic-grade fitness and sports research areas.
A laboratory is the first industry-grade education-based laboratory of its kind in the country, and can host more than 250 students at once. Sports research and teaching facilities include an environmental chamber that can simulate the altitude of Mount Everest, a running track, biomechanics area and 3D motion capture camera equipment. There is also a sports therapy clinic which is open to the public.
Jessica Jackson, Senior Project Manager, AECOM, said: “We are proud to have fulfilled Coventry University’s vision of consolidating the Faculty for Health and Life Sciences within an innovative, modern multidisciplinary building to meet the requirements of future teaching and further enhance the University’s research. AECOM ensured a successful project completion by providing leadership and clear direction to project teams throughout the scheme.”
Professor Guy Daly, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Health and Life Sciences at Coventry University, said:
“It is absolutely crucial that we prepare our students for the challenges and situations they will face in their future careers. By investing in such incredible facilities as this we are ensuring they are one step ahead when they go out into the world of work.
“Whether they are paramedics who have learnt to ventilate a patient while in our state-of-the-art ambulance, occupational therapists who have practised supporting a person returns home from hospital in our community houses, or sports therapists who have treated a member of the public for a running injury – they will have experienced real-life situations within the safety of the university.
“This building is for the whole community and will have a lasting legacy for the city, region and further afield. The research being carried out here has the potential to change lives and the healthcare workers trained here will save lives. We hope it will inspire, while bringing learning to life.”
The building, in Whitefriars Street, in Coventry city centre, will be used for teaching undergraduates, postgraduates and for research, as well as playing an important role in the community. Some of the facilities will host elite athletes for training, community groups, and public events as well as giving school children a chance to experience university life.
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