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University of Derby STEM Building

Students looking to study engineering have been given a boost with the University of Derby unveiling its £11 million STEM building. It comes at a time where there’s been an 8 per cent increase in student numbers studying engineering at the university.

Our team of university specialists created the facility to attract students and teaching staff from around the world, utilising our skills to build in live environments - a key factor for universities.

We were appointed for the following reasons:

  • extensive university track-record
  • know-how for live environment working
  • social investment programme for community
  • local team with impeccable construction credentials

Major investment

The new facility provides a 30 per cent increase in the university’s existing site at Markeaton Street, with the project procured through Scape Group’s Major Works framework.

It focuses on real world learning, combining functional space with infrastructure designed for the specific needs of engineering and computing studies. For example, accessible roof space will provide new opportunities for sustainable energy teaching and the energy use of the building will be captured to support the teaching of control systems.


Hari Punchihewa, deputy chief executive and finance director at the University of Derby, said:

“We are thrilled that the work on our STEM facility by Willmott Dixon is complete. It is an outstanding centre, setting the University of Derby apart from other institutions, and an environment which will allow our students to gain first-class academic knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and also to carry out research work using state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories. We look forward to being able to use the building and sharing the facility with current and prospective students.”

Designed for students and BIM

The STEM building has been designed specifically for the students’ studies and includes accessible roof space, providing new opportunities for sustainable energy teaching. This element will also monitor the energy use of the building, which will be captured to support the teaching of control systems.

Chris Hufford, operations director at Willmott Dixon:

“The new STEM building is a great example of our commitment to BIM and its multitude of benefits, utilising BIM helped our teams to work strategically throughout the construction process and achieve a high-quality finish we are proud of.”

Nick Gregory, director for CPMG said the STEM building was another great example of the use of BIM on a design and build project. He said: “We’re well known for our expertise in the education sector and have been using BIM on this project from inception to streamline efficiency throughout the build,” he said. “This latest project helps the University of Derby to grow its campus and delivers state-of-the-art learning facilities for aspiring students.”

High sustainability

The new STEM building will be constructed to Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) ‘Very Good’ standards, and the architectural design will enhance and complement the landscape.

Hari Punchihewa:

“Derby is well known as a centre for high-tech industries and engineering, and the University is doing everything it can to ensure there is a steady flow of skilled graduates ready to enter the world of work in those areas.”

Other recent university projects our team have done include Cardiff and Vale College, the Curzon Building at Birmingham City University, and The Barn at Northampton University.


  • 4,200 sq m building for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)
  • Utilises our skills for working in live environments
  • Focus on real-world learning
  • Students benefit from state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories




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