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Teesside University Olympia Green Wall

Cutting-edge gym facilities and sustainable ‘green wall’ for Teesside University

Combining our university and leisure sector experience, we created a unique ‘living green wall’ for Teesside University as part of the university’s campus redevelopment.

It's now the centre of Teesside University’s £30 million Campus Heart development.

Alongside the wall, we also built a new gym, an extension to the existing Olympia Health & Fitness Centre (above), to include an indoor sprint track, cutting-edge fitness suite, consultation rooms and a dance studio over two floors, connected via a link to the adjacent sports facility.

Green wall

The stand out feature though is the stunning green wall and LED screen to provide an attractive and environmentally friendly focus in the centre of the campus. This was the first combination of a ‘Living Wall’ and large LED screen in the country (that we know of) and has attracted huge interest off campus. The plants used in the green wall include species local to the University and were specifically chosen to encourage birds, bees and insects, and also helps to improve air quality and reduce noise pollution.

The vertical garden is at the rear of the Student Centre and provides a major focus to the redeveloped campus, with the wall's giant LED screen providing information on events at the University. It was carefully grown off-site before being carefully positioned as a thriving natural habitat at the centre of campus.

Logistical challenges to the project were overcome by careful supply chain management and planning, maximising the opportunity to undertake works outside the academic calendar in order to complete the project on time and on budget.

Busy environment

At the centre of a busy campus surrounded by existing university facilities, all of which needed to remain live throughout, we scheduled work outside exam periods and used our significant experience working in live environments to ensure the university functioned as usual without disruption.

Top facts from the project

  • 18 weeks of work experience were provided
  • 100% waste diverted from landfill
  • 96% local labour used within 40 miles
  • 65% local spend within 40 miles

Darren Vipond - Director of Estates at Teesside University:

“Thank you for your efforts to deliver this project on time and within budget. I appreciate there has been a great deal of energy, particularly in the last couple of weeks. I think we have a fantastic product, which is already, two days in, receiving excellent feedback. Well done and thanks.”

Mike Abel - Campus Services, Teeside University:

“Everyone who visits the new Campus Heart praises the green wall. It has transformed a dull and dreary façade into an eye catching and beautiful feature. The green wall has set the benchmark for future landscaping and building projects throughout the campus and the local area. Of great benefit are that its design and choice of plants means that it gets better with time and is green and lush all year round.”

Our work to improve Teeside University campus (above)

Student Accommodation, Teesside University

We also delivered a £5.4m project to refurbish two 1960s 10 and 11-storey blocks suitable for the demands of 187 contemporary students which was half simple, half difficult. Work on block A was carried out over the summer holidays. However, block B required a sharp increase in fire protection to the steel in order to bring it up to regulation.


  • First green wall of its kind for universities
  • 'Living wall' comprising plants and natural habitat
  • Worked within a busy campus
  • Also extended existing Olympia Health & Fitness Centre




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