Campus refurbishment projects: August 2009

This is the first of a series of regular updates by the Estates & Facilities department so that you are fully aware of all of the building, refurbishment and development work taking place throughout the campus every month.

Campus Management

The Gardening Team are currently working on newly landscaping the area immediately outside the Main Entrance which has been approved by the Vice Chancellor.

The Cleaning Team are distributing hand sanitisers throughout the University and a poster campaign has been launched to alert all staff and students to information on Swine Flu.

Estates Management

The infrastructure project is to commence on site on 5 September 2009. The work will take place near to the Carillion buildings and Boiler House area of the campus. The project involves heating, electricity and IT services to be provided to the Student Residences. 

Electrical Engineering

Periodic testing and inspection of various buildings is to take place this month at the Woodcock Sports Centre, Nelson Building, Aston Day Hospital and the Shustoke Recreation Centre.

The H and A lifts will commence refurbishment within the months of August and September respectively. The H lifts are now unavailable for use until the end of September and the A lift will be out of action from the end of September until just before Christmas.

Vision Sciences will have a new fire alarm installed this month and the work will be completed by the end of August.

Work continues on the new transformer and low voltage panel in “A” sub station (situated in the Lower Ground, Main Building).

Various refuge areas are being upgraded or newly installed and networked with twoway boxall communication systems in the Guild of Students and ABS.

An electrical refurbishment will take place in MB160.

The North Wing security access control swipe card system and CCTV camera supplies are currently being installed. 


The a/c has been replaced in the Library Server room and MBG50 server room.

A/c has been installed in MB634. 

The refrigerant has been replaced in the Library Chillers as part of the R22 phase out programme.

The Domestic Hot Water pumps in the Main Building are being replaced in order that we can conform to L8 regulations (water hygiene). 

The main heating valve in the NW is being replaced as part of Long Term Planned Maintenance. 

Utilicom are working in the Residences Plant Rooms installing differential pressure valves and isolating valves as part of the ongoing modifications required to enable a reduced return temperature to the CHP engines. 

The District Heating System will be turned off over the August Bank Holiday to enable essential and maintenance work by Aston and pipe work modifications for CHP and ASV by Utilicom. This will result in a loss of Domestic Hot Water to some users however this has been pre-agreed. 

The Combined Heat and Power scheme was launched on 1st June 2009. The University is now generating on-site electricity and heat. A further two megawatt CHP engine was delivered and installed on 20 July 2009. 

A replacement AHU (Air Handling Unit) will be fitted in Lecture Theatre 645. The air conditioning unit is being provided for the cancer research area. 

Improved gas mains are being installed in A and C corners.

Efficient Air will be carrying out a survey/inspection of various AHU/Air Handling plant as required under EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive). 

Severn Trent are preparing to audit the water waste of the University.

Asbestos removal work will continue to the beginning of September. Access to the Lower Ground will be restricted however alternative routes will always be available. 

The air conditioning has been replaced in the Library Server room. In addition, the air conditioning systems within G50 (Main Building) and NW610 are to be replaced.

The refrigerant is to be replaced in the South Wing chillers due to the phasing out of current refrigerant type gases.  

ADT will be making major changes to the BMS system to accommodate the removal of the Estates & Facilities offices. 

Environment & Sustainability

There are now two recycling banks on campus – one by Dalton Tower and one by Stafford Tower. These were in place for the end of term and have been well used so far. 

New cycle and motorbike shelters are now in place in Car Park 3, by the Students Guild and outside the Library, while the one by the North Wing entrance should be replaced soon. We have planning permission for two more locations near the Main Building but new alternatives may need to be identified for these as soon as possible. 

Almost 50 new paper recycling bins have been placed in the Library.

A new Aspects ‘Sustainability’ section has been launched.

Victoria Johnsen presented our travel plan and progress, together with Atkins Consultants, at the PTRC (Planning and Transport, Research & Computation) Transport Practitioners Meeting in July. 

Sofia Kokolaki-Hall, together with the Finance Department, is currently finalising details for our Salix funding. £250,000 is to be used for energy saving measures such as covering the pool, insulating pipes and better heating controls to be installed. 

EcoCampus information is to be submitted for the Bronze stage award in the near future. 

This year’s People & Planet (P&P) Green League, ranking the sustainability performance of UK universities and published in the Times, placed Aston University to 28th position out of 127 Universities. However this ranking is lower than Aston’s rightful position in the Green League. Due to an error made on P&P’s part, Aston was awarded only 41.5 points instead of 43.5, a score which would place us in joint 18th place. P&P have acknowledged their error and promised to add a correction note to the Aston University page in the next few days. In the past two years we have risen from 93rd to 45th and now to 28th/18th. This is an outstanding achievement for us as a University. 

Finance & Resourcing

A new helpdesk system is to be implemented within the finance and maintenance teams in Estates & Facilities. The system is to be provided by Planon who currently supply our space management software and will be rolled out later in the year before Christmas. 


On Wednesday morning Dorwingear will be replacing the exterior fascia and door handles on 'A' entrance doors please allow them access to Potter St. While they are working on the door, entrance and exit to the University from that side of the building will have to be through the 'Out of Hours' door. 

The forthcoming decorating/painting schedule is as follows:

1. Main Building – Lower Ground Floor

The Engineering Department (L37B and L37A) will see decoration to walls and floors.

L82 will see a new suspended ceiling installed.

2. Decoration to all Areas of the Main Building

Substantial areas of the Main Building will undergo decoration.

3. Red and Blue Sky Lifts

The lifts will be out of action for one week as from week commencing Monday 31st August for repairs to soffits. 

4. North and South Wings

Substantial areas of the wings are to undergo decoration.

5. Students' Guild

The toilets are to be re-decorated on all floors to include new ladies vanity units.

6. Woodcock Sports

The Gents Toilets/Changing Rooms are completed. Work started on the Ladies Changing Rooms on Monday 27th July.

7. Shustoke Sports

The Male and Female Changing Rooms are completed.

The Function Room and Wedding Room will see decoration/new flooring.

8. Vision Sciences

Decoration, flooring, a new suspended ceiling and lighting are to be included in the Students Room (G05) and Lobby. Decoration, flooring, a new suspended ceiling and lighting is to be added to the corridor in G77 and G73. Work is to start on 3rd August. The external render is to be painted once a colour has been approved.

9. East Yard Gates

New gated access and pedestrian gate installation is to take place.

Minor refurbishment work is underway at the Shustoke Recreation Centre and Woodcock Sports.

New passes have been introduced for contractors and visitors to Estates & Facilities to comply with Health & Safety regulations. 

Minor Projects/Space Management

The Minor Projects and Space Management webpages are now available. Projects include the new Guild Meeting Room, Catering Facility, Wayfinding Signage and Advanced Photonic Nano-Biosensor Laboratory. The project team will be meeting on a fortnightly basis to update the web pages. Completed projects will be updated with images over the next two weeks.

Download this information as a pdf.

Words by Claire Whelpton, Departmental Secretary, Estates & Facilities .


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