Sir William Henry Bragg Building

  • Work begins: Spring 2017
  • Work due to be completed: Autumn 2020
  • Cost: £96m
  • Contractors: BAM

Brief:  A new £96m development, the Sir William Henry Bragg Building, will be constructed to create an integrated campus for Engineering and Physical Sciences to build on a shared interaction between these disciplines.

Located on the north east quarter of campus the new 15,700m2 building will enable the integration of the University disciplines of Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, and Computing along with the provision of critical central teaching and social interaction spaces.

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This investment will foster a culture of inter-disciplinary working in the development of novel materials to address 21st Century challenges in many areas, including energy efficient computing, telecommunications, sustainable magnetic materials, sensors for use in biological systems and extreme or remote environments, pharmaceutical formulations, ‘smart foods’ and medical technologies.

The facility will include first-class laboratory and specialised teaching spaces, enabling cutting-edge research, and outstanding student experience, whilst enhancing the University’s research power and strengthening collaboration with industry.

Live feed of the development

Key Stages

  • June 2018 – Piling begins
  • September 2018 – Basement excavation begins
  • Winter 2018 – Precast frame construction begins

The Bragg Centre for Materials Research will also be supported by this £96m development. It will enable the discovery, creation, characterisation and exploitation of materials engineered at the atomic level. The centre’s research brings together the fundamental understanding, design and fabrication of materials with the potential for their exploitation in new devices, systems and applications.

Read more about the Bragg Centre.

Contact Details

Project Manager: David Oldroyd, Estates Services. E.

Service/Faculty Facilities Manager: Barry Gilbert. E.  and E.

Site Manager: TBC

Recent updates

A look back at what’s happened on site in June

  • Work focused on the excavation of the site including the installation of drainage in front of the Electrical Engineering Building.
  • Formation of a guide wall and installation of piles to Woodhouse Lane to allow for the installation of service ducts also took place.

70 people on site

35 deliveries to site

Our contractor, BAM, continue to work hard to keep disruption and noise to a minimum. Thank you to our students, staff and members of the public for their continued patience as work takes place.



Will the building be 24-hr access?
Yes, the building will be open 24/7. CCTV cameras are planned for extra security.

Will there be any external communal areas? 
Yes, we will be creating a public space at the front of the building. The landscaping will include seating areas with benches.

Will the roof be a communal external area?
No, the roof will not be publicly accessible

Will there be access to St Georges Field from the new building?
Access to St George’s field will be via an external ramp.

Will there be secure housing for bicycles?
Yes, a secure 112 cycle cage will be provided and will fall under the responsibility of the University Sustainability Service.

Will there be any new parking spaces near the building?
There are no additional parking spaces planned, other than disabled parking bays near the entrance to the building.

What is the new building’s environmental credentials?
The building has a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.

What are the plans for the EC Stoner Building when Physics and Computing move out?
The EC Stoner Building will be refurbished in the future, but there are no firm plans for the space at the moment.

Will we be able to see how the building is progressing during the build?
News regarding progress will be posted to the Campus Development website and included in the Campus Development newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. In addition, the hoardings around the building site have viewing windows allowing a daily view of activity.

What is the walking time between the Bragg Building and the Roger Stevens Building?
Around 8-10 minutes.

Will construction stop during exam periods?
Construction will not stop during exam periods however we have moved exams away from buildings surrounding this construction site.

Will the building have its own generator?

What is the disabled access to the building?
We have level access at the main entrance.  All of our new buildings and refurbishments must comply with modern standards.

How are the access needs of students being considered?
Access is a key part of the plan for the building and has been taken into account in corridor widths, door widths etc. An equality consultant has been employed by the University to support on this.

What will be the signposting and connectivity to the rest of campus?
The areas just beyond the new building will be done up pretty quickly.  That will become the fastest route through, but you will also be able to go all the way from one end of Engineering, through the buildings all the way to Parkinson Court, without going outside.


Where will the schools’ student admin/support offices be located?
They are located on the ground floor, close to the entrance and will be shared facilities for both Schools.

Which areas/facilities are shared between Schools and which are separate?
Shared spaces are student support offices, central teaching spaces, tutorial rooms, staff rooms, kitchenettes and photocopy rooms.

Where are the workshops? Will they be shared between Schools?
These will be located in the Chemistry basement and will form part of an integrated workshop with those in the Faculty of Engineering.

What is the capacity for central teaching spaces in the new building?
These have capacity for 50, 60 and 80 people.

What are ‘turn and learn’ teaching spaces?
These are flexible spaces where small groups of students can work as a group, then turn to focus on the lecturer at the front of the room. Turn and learn teaching spaces are already used in the Charles Thackrah building.

Will there be meeting rooms that are larger than the tutorial rooms shown on the plans?
Yes, the schools have a mixture of large meeting rooms on various floors.

How will the building be heated/air conditioned?
To minimise noise, the building is fully sealed (windows do not open) and has a chilled beam heating/cooling system.

Are the internal walls solid or glass?
These are a mixture with glass to get daylight into deep plan spaces with no direct daylight.

How many lifts are there in the building?

Who can use the fallow space?
Anyone can make an application for fallow space, however, any application must satisfy strict conditions.  An academic and financial business case is put forward to the Sir Willian Henry Bragg Building Programme Board for due consideration.

Will the café be a University-run facility?

Will the Atrium be a space to hold events?

What is the length of the connecting bridges between the two buildings?
Bridges are approx. 8-10m long.

Where is the goods entrance?
The goods entrance is at the rear of the building in the service yard.

What toilet provision is there and does this include gender-neutral toilets? Are the gender-neutral toilets also disabled toilets as student feedback is that it’s better to separate these?
We have to meet building regulations based on occupancy and that has determined the number of male and female toilets and we also have a gender-neutral toilet on one floor. This is more discreet than the disabled toilets, which are very much on show.

The building is named after a very prominent white male scientist, Sir William Bragg. Are there other parts of the building that could be named after women or people of colour who’ve made a contribution to the field?
Sir William Henry Bragg is Leeds’ only Nobel Laureate and the building is named after him as it was felt that this hadn’t been marked sufficiently. However, we have other parts of the building and space for artworks that could mark other contributions – and that’s a really good idea. For example, there are concrete columns in the building that could be imprinted and glass coverings that could also be used in this way.

Are the tutorial rooms bookable by all students or just Physics and Computing?
The volume and number of these rooms have been designed for Physics and Computing based on their projected usage. But the University is open, campus is open and as we’ve seen with other areas, if it works for students then it gets used. There are no rules as to who can use the space, it’s open for all.

With the Laidlaw Library, it’s a central system and all students can use it to book rooms. Will it work like that?
There will be an office support on the ground floor, but rooms will be bookable online. It may be possible to book rooms for an hour and it’s unlikely they will be booked 24/7 so there’s likely to be capacity.  The rooms will also have an iPad outside that shows when they’re booked and when they’re free – and they’re not locked. So if you see one is free for the next hour, you can dive in.

Who will be managing the café?
The café will be University run and will become part of the Great Food at Leeds café portfolio.

Could thought go into creating better break out and workspace in the building, ensuring there is enough space on tables for a laptop and papers, not like the Laidlaw when it first opened?
Absolutely. When we are at the stage of employing an interior designer, we can come back and work through that with LUU colleagues.

All News for Sir William Henry Bragg Building

Centre for Engineering and Physical Sciences
Estates Building demolition
Plan your walking route
ICEPS interior foyer
Centre for Engineering and Physical Sciences
Edward Boyle Library

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