Sustainable refurbishment of the Elmfield Building for the University of Sheffield

Refurbishment of Department of Politics, Sheffield University


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Higher Education
University of Sheffield
October 2024
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Sustainable refurbishment of the Elmfield Building for the University of Sheffield

Revitalising academic spaces: The Elmfield transformation

The Elmfield Building, located on the University of Sheffield campus, is currently undergoing refurbishment and asbestos removal. The project, managed by Robertson Construction Yorkshire East Midlands, aims to transform the building into a more accessible, energy-efficient, and sustainable space. 

The scope of work includes, strip-out, installation of new mechanical and electrical provisions, structural alterations, asbestos abatement, and new finishes throughout. 

Although the department of Politics has been temporarily relocated during the works, the project site is adjacent to the live gym and swimming pool at the Goodwin Sports Centre.

Transforming the Elmfield Building: a sustainable renovation

The Elmfield Building refurbishment project involved a comprehensive scope of work, aiming to enhance the building’s functionality and sustainability. Key elements of the refurbishment include:

  • Asbestos Abatement: Ensuring the safe removal of asbestos materials from the building.
  • MEP Alterations and Boiler Replacement: Upgrading mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, including replacing the boiler.
  • Backlog Maintenance for External Envelope: Addressing maintenance needs related to the roof, façade, and windows.
  • Internal Teaching Spaces Refurbishment: Renovating all internal teaching areas to create modern and functional spaces.
  • Minor Structural Alterations: Making necessary structural changes to improve the building’s layout.
  • Fire Protection Installation: Enhancing fire safety measures within the building.
  • New Floor Structure Above Lecture Theatre: Adding a new floor structure above the existing lecture theatre.
  • New External Lift and Lift Enclosure: Installing an external lift and an enclosed platform lift internally.

The entire Elmfield Building was decanted before the works began, ensuring a smooth renovation process. Despite this, the adjacent Goodwin Sports Centre and Swimming Pool remained fully operational. Mitigation strategies, such as segregation, signage, barriers, and hoarding, were implemented to minimise disruption and maintain uninterrupted access for students and staff.

Project synergy: co-ordination with the adjacent Goodwin Gym refurbishment

The collaborative synergy between the Goodwin Gymnasium project and the ongoing Elmfield refurbishment has been instrumental in achieving efficient execution and successful completion. By strategically aligning these projects, we optimised logistics, streamlined deliveries, and ensured timely coordination. Shared welfare facilities further reduced impact around the site, fostering a collaborative approach. As a result, both projects have thrived, contributing to the University of Sheffield’s enhanced infrastructure.