University of Manchester, Learning Commons University of Manchester, Learning Commons

The University of Manchester

RPS provided a range of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering designs for the new Learning Commons which 50,000ft2 of technology rich space for the University.

The building is a 24 hour, seven days a week operation accommodating up to 1,000 students and support staff. The design of the building services provides a flexible operation to accommodate the large fluctuations in occupancy levels and subsequent demands on the building services.

The ventilation solution provides a mixed mode operation with automatic opening windows. Heating is provided by a decentralised energy centre on the campus which has district heating mains serving the building.

Much emphasis has been placed on keeping the space to an open plan layout and thus promoting natural ventilation and lighting. A central atria allows both natural light and air to enter the space and act as a ‘thermal stack’ to drawing air naturally.

Overall it is the intent to improve on ECON54 by 50% for a conventional college and the team worked closely with the University IT department to review low energy PCs with remote hard drive technology.