Our projects

Sustainability meets style at new campus

Staff and equipment were re-located to the new campus within 99 weeks of construction beginning.

Our client's requirement was straight-forward: a new, sustainable campus providing world-class learning and teaching facilities.

Once construction work had started on the landmark six-storey campus building, energy centre and public areas - we were asked to manage the move into the building as well.

With facilities ranging from simulation suites and science labs to lecture theatres and a sports hall, the move would need meticulous planning and co-ordination.

With an ambitious 99-week deadline, the latest construction technologies were required to complete the building ready for staff and equipment to move in.

We finished works right on schedule, using BIM to reduce costs and improve collaboration. Thanks to our structured Soft Landings approach, transition for staff and equipment was smooth and stress-free.


    • Client: Manchester Metropolitan University
    • Sector: Education
    • Value: £60m
    • Size: 23,000m²
    • Location: North West
    • Services: Pre-Construction, Construction Support, McAlpine Design Group
    • Completion date: 2014

With the transition from our two campuses with multiple buildings to the single Birley Fields building representing the largest and most complicated relocation and occupation MMU has undertaken, the University had faith in Sir Robert McAlpine’s diligent management approach to help ensure successful delivery.

Dean Luby, Project Manager of MMU Capital Projects

Engineering expertise

We completed works quickly and efficiently through optimising design and construction using Building Information Modelling (BIM). Collaborating with designers, subcontractors and our client, it enabled us to:

  • Save time, costs and materials through maximising off-site prefabrication of structure and services and reducing waste.
  • Make sure the design met client needs.
  • Provide increased programme certainty.
  • Improve health and safety.
  • Achieve the high quality finishes required.
  • Highlight and manage potential risks.
  • Develop 3D simulations giving staff and students a feel for the new building.


Birley Fields Building

Soft landings

Buying new and transferring existing equipment from two campuses was no mean feat. Added to this, staff from the two faculties hadn’t shared buildings before. With classes due six weeks after completion, moving staff and equipment needed meticulous planning.

Our Soft Landings approach was critical, allowing for early involvement with those who defined and shaped the brief. 

Focused on improving operational readiness, our Soft Landings team worked with university 'Move Champions' to develop a detailed countdown programme. The building was passed over to our client's FM teams with comprehensive training provided to iron out any issues and avoid any disruption to the University's core business.

The handover of the Birley Building has been a resounding success and should be used as a model of good practice moving forward.

Damion Shaw, Facilities and Decant Manager, Birley Fields