New facilities unveiled at the University of Hertfordshire
As students and staff return to campus for a new academic year, the University of Hertfordshire is delighted to open several new and refurbished buildings that will enhance teaching and learning, the student experience, and strong links with the local business community.
Investment in on-site facilities has continued to be a priority throughout the past 18 months, despite the challenges of the pandemic. The Enterprise Hub, Institute of Sport and the newly-renovated Forum are representative of the University’s continued commitment to creating an inspiring, cutting-edge campus for everyone who uses it.
Each project not only meets the needs of the community, but also supports the University’s carbon footprint reduction targets in the Race to Zero.
New and refurbished facilities for all the community
The £12m Enterprise Hub, located on the de Havilland campus, was officially opened in November 2020, and can now be used to its full potential in the new academic year.
As a designated University Enterprise Zone, the University of Hertfordshire offers extensive support to business both big and small, locally and nationally, in all sectors – from a business incubator service, to mentoring opportunities and workforce development. The new building significantly expands this offer, with offices, co-working spaces, and additional teaching space for the University’s MBA and expanding degree apprenticeship offering.
The Enterprise Hub was part-funded by a £2.5m Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and recently awarded the East of England Constructing Excellence 'Project of the Year'.
The state-of-the-art Institute of Sport, on the site of the former Club de Havilland, is the new home for the Sport, Health and Exercise department. The building is designed to give students hands-on experience using best-in-class facilities, including a virtual reality biomechanics room; physiology and blood laboratories for research and analysis; an environmental control room to simulate a range of challenging real-world environments; sports therapy teaching rooms; and performance and health consultancy and testing tools.
The £7.5million building has been opened on the de Havilland campus, and is also part-funded by a Local Growth Fund investment from the Hertfordshire LEP.
As well as enterprise and subject-specific facilities, the University is continuing to invest in the student experience with the newly-completed £7.7million Forum renovation. A new 250-person collaborative teaching space supports flexible learning styles, while The Loft and Seventy7 –the new Student Union bar and nightclub – provide a vibrant new space for students to socialise.
Investing in a sustainable future
All new buildings are created with the net zero carbon target in mind, and form part of the University’s plan to replace or upgrade older sites that are energy inefficient.
The Enterprise Hub received a BREEAM rating of ‘very good’, and all three projects considered sustainability throughout: 90% of waste from building works was diverted away from landfill, each building has energy efficient lighting and heating systems, and the Enterprise Hub contains solar panels that generate some of the electricity of the building.
Physical and digital spaces
Ian Grimes, Director of Estates at the University, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic and the climate emergency have both prompted careful consideration about how the University makes use of, and invests in, both our physical and digital spaces.
“I’m delighted that we are opening these new and refurbished facilities on campus that reflect our commitment to quality teaching and learning, an enjoyable student experience, and a productive relationship with local business.
“We are grateful to the funders and partners who have made these projects possible, and we can’t wait to welcome people to use the new spaces this term”.
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