Exciting improvement plans for the Roger Stevens Cooling Pond

Work has begun at the Roger Stevens cooling pond as part of a multi-disciplinary University project, that will not only visually enhance the landscape outside the Roger Stevens Building, but will also provide research led teaching opportunities for our students.

This innovative project has been led by Estates Services and has involved The Leeds Living Lab, in collaboration with colleagues from University–wide departments including, Sustainability, and Schools of Biology, Geography and Civil Engineering. Teams worked together to co-create a solution for the Roger Stevens pond that enhances amenity value, enhances biodiversity, improves natural water quality, reduces operational cost and provides an innovative space for interdisciplinary, research-led teaching.

The installation of sensors within the pool will also provide live data on water quality and a variety of environmental parameters, this will be made available to staff and students for teaching and research use.

Leonard Wilson, Deputy Director for Estates Services commented:“The scheme has been designed to create an extra ‘green’ dimension to this part of the campus and help biodiversity in the area. Once the planting has been established and the neutrality of the water is in balance, it is also hoped to introduce fish to the pond.The duck house will also continue to remain at the pond side, and we envisage they too will benefit from the new improved environment.  This year we had two broods, which have now flown south, but we look forward to welcoming them back in the spring when the pool will be more established and flourishing.”

The Leeds Living Lab drives the University’s commitment to embedding sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration and innovation. It brings together students, academic and operational staff to research and test sustainable solutions, enhance our curriculum and solve real world challenges using the University as a test-bed.

A Living Lab Placement Student in the School of Biology, will ensure that staff and students can access to data for teaching and research use. It also seeks to be a centre of academic research such as a recently started study into the effects of the water body on the heat island effect of the surrounding architecture.

With connections to Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching modules in all the Schools involved, the collaborative approach has sought to ensure the pond can meet the demands of student assessed projects, field practice and dissertations whilst also delivering an innovative, sustainable solution as part of the University Landscape Strategy.

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