September 2022

Contractors begin to develop University's new sustainable construction centre

By Melanie Hall

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Work on University College Birmingham's new state-of-the-art sustainable construction skills centre is now officially underway with the appointment of GMI Construction Group.

GMI will develop the skills centre for next year's intake of construction students through the regeneration of the iconic James Cond print works building adjacent to the University's other campus buildings in the Jewellery Quarter’s Conservation Area.

Offering courses in areas such as modular buildings, retrofit construction and green technologies, the centre will specialise in teaching skills that support the region’s growth areas, including sustainable construction methods and renewable energy.

"“We look forward to working with GMI to bring this much-needed skills centre to life"

Professor Michael Harkin Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Current construction students will also have the opportunity to get involved with the build, offering them real-world experience and the chance to help build their own learning facility.

GMI – which covers multiple project sectors and geographical regions and specialises in the delivery of high quality, energy efficient and often highly complex construction projects – will commence building works in October 2022.

The project is expected to be completed ready for September 2023’s intake of students.

Watch: How our new Engineering and Sustainable Construction Centre will look

Gareth Jones, Construction Director at GMI, said: “We’re looking forward to working with University College Birmingham on the regeneration of this historic building in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, unlocking new opportunities for the area through improved access to education.

“Improving the sustainability of the construction industry is high on our agenda, so it’s a pleasure to be working on a project that will provide training in this area and equip the future workforce with the skills they need to make a positive change to the industry.”

A plan of the new Engineering and Sustainable Construction Centre at the James Cond Building

Professor Michael Harkin, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at University College Birmingham, added: “There is a great need for new talent in the sustainable construction field, with hundreds of thousands of new workers expected to be required in the next few years.

“We look forward to working with GMI to bring this much-needed skills centre to life, and welcoming new students to the facility next year.”

Interested in studying in the areas of construction and engineering? Explore our range of courses within our Department of Engineering, Computing and Sustainable Construction.

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