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University of West London

BREEAM Excellent university refurbishment delivered on a live campus

Willmott Dixon is behind the redevelopment of the St Mary’s Road site in Ealing, part of the University of West London's £50 million 'Future Campus' programme.

Our work started with the renovation and refit of the Students’ Union building. Then followed the main project, a new building called Heartspace that connects with five existing buildings that are also being updated. Heartspace, with its four-storey atrium cascading natural light throughout the building delivers the ‘Wow’ factor for the University.

The refurbished buildings that connect to Heartspace include a new library, refectory and bookshop. Importantly, this work was delivered in a live environment, with students and staff on site, which was carefully managed.

Stephen Harnett, operations manager:

“This project is all about how we manage change and deliver the work within a live, busy environment full of students studying for their exams.”


Heartspace is a stunning centre point for the campus. It includes a new performance space with moveable seating and partitions, while the old buildings will be given the same feel as the new spaces. All the ceilings, for example are being painted black, with suspended white raft ceiling panels

The project delivered 30,000 sq m of space for the university, 4,000 sq m of it new, and we'll future-proof the facility by creating flexible learning spaces that can adapt to the changing needs of learning.

Sustainability features:

  • New CHP (combined heat and power) plant in a refurbished energy centre that serves the entire campus.
  • CO2 sensors to control ventilation systems based on occupancy levels to combine safety with energy efficiency.
  • New ventilation systems with heat recovery to aid energy efficiency.
  • Central air handling unit to heat and cool the new library.
  • Complex lighting installation that combines high levels of natural light from the atrium roof with specialist lighting for the performance space including LED track lighting.
  • Underfloor heating in the the atrium and two-storey exhibition gallery link corridor.

"It’s been amazing to see the students’ responses to the upgraded facilities and the programme has only been made possible by the delivery partners’ close co-operation."

Professor Peter John, vice chancellor, University of West London


  • Combination of new build and refurbishment in a live campus environment
  • Heartspace, with its four-storey atrium, to deliver the ‘Wow’ factor
  • New CHP plant in a refurbished energy centre
  • CO2 sensors to control ventilation systems
  • BREEAM Excellent




Willmott Dixon House, 80 Wilbury Way, Hitchin, Herts


Tel: 01462 442200

Fax: 01462 442204