One Year into the University’s Largest Construction Project

7 October 2019

Cecilia Broman is project manager for the New Ångström development at Uppsala University’s Buildings Division.

Hi there, Cecilia Broman of Uppsala University’s Buildings Division and project manager for the New Ångström development. It has been a year since ground was broken on the extension to the Ångström Laboratory. How is work progressing?

“Everything is going well and according to plan, both for Building 9 and Building 10. Building 9 is now weathertight, with exterior walls and roof in place. Work has begun on interior walls and installations. Building 10 is at an earlier stage, so work is still going on to erect the frame; however, it is on schedule.

During construction, at UU we have begun working on other aspects; for example, reconciling calculations and preparing tender documentation for the procurement of fixtures, fittings and equipment for Building 9.”

What equipment is currently being procured for Building 9 and who will be moving in?

“The equipment being procured for Building 9 is AV equipment for classrooms, group rooms and meeting rooms. Procurement is also underway for all of the furniture.

We have student areas and flexible teaching facilities on Floor 0 that can be used for both traditional teaching with the teacher at the front of the class and for more student-activated teaching, in what are known as Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs). In ALCs, teaching tends to be in groups with access to screens and writing boards. Chairs and table are also on wheels so that the furniture can be easily rearranged.  Floor 1 is empty to allow for future expansion, while Floors 2 to 5 provide office space that will be occupied by the Department of Physics and Astronomy.”

How is work going on Building 10 and what will be located there?

“Frame assembly is underway and has now reached Floor 4. The building consists of two parts; a lower level with public facilities such as classrooms and student areas and an upper level, largely consisting of offices that will be occupied by the Department of Information Technology.

Among other things, the ground floor, Floor 0, will house reception, student services, a library, makerspace, a restaurant, a laboratory for developing social robots, a visualisation lab and the upper level of the auditorium. Floor B1 will have student areas, computer labs and the lower level of the auditorium. Floor 1 is the main student and teaching level with a large number of classrooms and student areas of various sizes. This will be designed for the same type of flexible, student-activated teaching as Building 9, although it will also contain two lecture theatres.”

What are the major challenges involved in a building project such as New Ångström?

“I think the biggest challenge for the organisation is to describe and specify future functional requirements. A project of this scale goes on for some time and consists of many stages; in other words, a lot of time elapses between the planning stage and the premises being put to use. It is therefore important to somehow build in a certain amount of flexibility so that adaptions can be made as and when required.

Another challenge that our partner Akademiska Hus has also described is the creation of an organisation encompassing all of the project designers, contractors and tenants, so that everyone is working towards the same objective. At the moment there are some 100 construction workers employed on site, to which can be added large numbers from the project team as well as university employees.”

Have there been any changes to the building plans?

“Yes, in the original plans there was an underground carpark beneath Building 10 but this has vanished for cost-saving reasons. On the other hand, a restaurant has been reinstated in the project and will be located on the ground floor of Building 10.” 

What are you looking forward to in the immediate future?

“In terms of Building 9, it is the completion of the building and handover to the university. We will then begin installing fixtures and fittings and AV equipment. We will be taking over the building in summer 2020 and moving in during the following autumn.

The installation of the glazing on Building 10 will be exciting as the facade of the building differs in appearance from the rest of the buildings within the Ångström Laboratory. Building 9 on the other hand is much more similar in construction to the rest of the Ångström Laboratory, with rust-red render.

Building 9 with ChromoGenics glass.
Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

Otherwise, we have just reached one exciting milestone with the installation of the climate-smart ChromoGenics glass on Building 9. That is especially pleasing as the technology was originally developed by researchers at the Ångström Laboratory.”

Learn more:

The New Ångström Project at Polacksbacken

Breaking Ground at New Ångström

Follow building work at New Ångström via camera coverage of Building 9 and Building 10