UK university buildings play a key role in wellbeing and success
University buildings play a key role in attracting and retaining students and staff, according to this month’s MBS round table discussion, sponsored by Trend Controls.
The panel agreed that today’s students (and their parents) expect good quality accommodation as well as excellent teaching spaces.
Wellbeing is also a significant issue for occupants, both students and teaching staff.
Chris Baldwin, key account manager for Trend Controls, says: “Wellbeing is a big theme across the whole campus, not just the classroom environment. Since universities started charging fees, there was a change in expectations in regard to quality of accommodation.”
Scott Brooks, engineering systems manager for Nottingham Trent University and chairman of the Association of University Engineers (AUE) adds that university buildings have to perform at a high level: “Students have different expectations now and our engineering teams have had to become more reactive. Buildings operate 24-hours a day, and there is no summer shutdown for maintenance work.”
The drive to improve university buildings has resulted in expenditure of around £3 billion in the sector, though this is not spread evenly across all universities. Others have made updates, for example, to building controls and BEMS to improve energy management and wellbeing.