Robertson to extend Newcastle University building

One of the North East’s fastest growing construction firms has started work on a £2.4million extension to Newcastle University.

Robertson Construction England secured the contract to extend the Building Science building occupied by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, following a competitive bid process which was open to firms on the University’s list of approved contractors.

Garry Hope, Regional Managing Director of Robertson North East England said:

“Our team is already on site demolishing the existing recycling area and preparing the site for the installation of the piled foundations, which will support the steel frame structure. These works will run from now until June, with the steel frame being erected at the end of June 2016.

“The reasons we were successful on this particular bid is because we have built upon the successful relationship that was forged during the construction of the University’s National Centre for Subsea and Offshore Engineering building which was completed in December 2015.

“We’re due to complete phase one of this current job in February next year, with phase two scheduled for completion the following month. As you can see, there’s lots to be done which is why we’ve got our heads down and on with the job in hand as early as possible.”

The finished extension is based on a concept design developed by Design Office – a design consultancy based within the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape – and developed by Durham based PH Partnership – whose Director, Fausto Pereira is a Newcastle University architecture graduate. Comprising three floors and sprawling over 18,000 ft², its main function will be to co-locate enhanced workshop and studio spaces for architecture students, in a fit for purpose facility.

Key tasks ahead for the Robertson team include demolition works, service diversions, piling, steel frame erection, curtain walling, zinc cladding and M&E installation, in preparation for the first students arriving in March 2017.

In total, there will be five Robertson staff working and managing the project on site as well 20 sub-contractors, mostly from local SMEs, including M&H Groundworks, Carmel Structures and Geoffrey Robinson. All of these are either Robertson approved contractors or are members of the University’s approved contractor list.

Commenting on the work, Professor John Pendlebury, Head of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape said:

“Newcastle University prides itself on the employability of its graduates. It is crucial that our students are provided with fit for purpose learning facilities. This new building will allow students on design-led programmes to hone their practical skills and will be a wonderful addition to our facilities. I am very pleased to have Robertson doing the build for us. I can’t wait to see the final result next year and of course welcome the students through its doors.”

Robertson Construction England has won a number of contracts across the North East in recent months including major student accommodation projects.

The company recently appointed Garry Hope as regional managing director of its operations in North East England, after Andy McLeod was promoted to Managing Director, a role that sees him spearhead the company’s three English regions – North East, North West and Yorkshire and East Midlands.