We are delighted to be engineering the Vardean College STEM Centre – an education project that will support and encourage budding engineers in Brighton and Hove.
Construction of the new £2.9m science, technology, engineering and mathematics centre has now started and the new building is set to open its doors to students this time next year.
In terms of engineering, the project presents a rather unusual challenge as the new building is located directly above a network of WWII air raid shelters! So the structure has been designed to bridge over the shelters and is as shallow as possible to avoid making contact with them.
The building will be constructed using a steel frame with composite concrete upper floor. The ground floor will be suspended reinforced concrete, supported on reinforced concrete beams and piles.
We are providing full structural and civil engineering services for the project, working alongside Pilbeam Construction who recently broke ground on the project. Design team partners include architects The Seaman Partnership and M&E engineers Crofton Consulting.
As with the majority of our large scale projects, Gyoury Self has carried out all structural engineering in Revit and is working collaboratively with the design team within the BIM environment.
When completed, the new STEM Centre will house four science labs on the ground floor and six classrooms on the first floor. One of the labs and one classroom will be classed as accessible, with the first floor used by the special educational needs unit.
Student numbers at Varndean College have risen steadily from 1130 in 2006 to 1670 in 2018 with a significant increase in 2016 when Central Sussex College closed its Haywards Heath campus. Students travel in from across Sussex to study for A-levels, the prestigious International Baccalaureate and a range of other post-16 qualifications. The new building will therefore provide additional facilities and help the college achieve its aim of encouraging students to move on to higher level STEM courses and into a STEM career.