Front view of the university. Credit: Arup.; Front view of the university. Credit: Arup.;

Parkside Building Birmingham City University, Birmingham

Specialist advice to deliver the UK’s largest university media centre

The five-storey Parkside Building on Birmingham’s Eastside is home to Birmingham City University’s Institute of Art and Design. It includes a media hub with TV, radio and photographic studios and was designed to develop a space that encouraged artists from different disciplines to work together.

We were appointed to provide mechanical, electrical, civil and public health engineering. Our specialist teams also delivered fire, acoustics, ICT, façade and security and systems integration services for the project.

Multidisciplinary specialist advice

Through our multi-disciplinary approach, we provided specialist advice on key areas of the building that shaped the end solution. 

Our fire engineering solution involving the division of the basement into sub-compartments reduced the extent of smoke ventilation by approximately 50%. The solution was agreed with the Birmingham Building Control and the fire officer.

Project Summary

18,000 sqm floor area

£40mconstruction cost

26%carbon reduction through renewable technologies

A BIM first 

The Parkside Building was one of the first and largest buildings in the UK to use Building Information Modeling (BIM) from concept to operation. In order to deliver the best solution, Arup hosted workshops to ensure that all stakeholders understood BIM; allowing them to become confident in adopting a new way of working. BIM provided great value to the University, not only for use in facilities management, but also by ensuring that their aspirations were delivered through detailed coordination and visualisation. A data-rich BIM model is continuing to assist the University’s facilities management.

Bespoke design solutions 

Our acousticians worked closely with the end users to produce bespoke design solutions to each of the four TV studios rather than one solution for all. Through the use of our SoundLab, our acoustic engineers were able to assess whether teaching spaces should be opened up to the atrium, as the departments were able to hear the level of background noise that could be expected. 

Front view of the building. Credit: Arup. Front view of the building. Credit: Arup.

The entrance to the Parkside Building, home to the School of Media and the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD)